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US$587m in Subsidies Allocated for Spring Farming
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The central government said yesterday it has allocated 4.71 billion yuan (about US$587 million) in subsidies to farmers in an effort to support the work undertaken in the spring.


The Ministry of Finance said the subsidies include 3.67 billion yuan (US$456 million) for the purchase of improved strains of seed, 540 million yuan (US$67 million) for machinery, and 500 million yuan (US$62 million) to cover farmers' bills for testing the soil of their farmland before applying fertilizers.


The subsidies allocated constitute part of the proposed budget spending for this year, said a ministry statement. The country's budget, tabled on March 5 to the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) for approval, is expected to be passed at the end of its ongoing Fourth Plenary Session next week.


Total proposed subsidies for the purchase of improved strains of seed and of farming machinery stand at 4.07 billion yuan (US$506 million) and 600 million yuan (US$75 million) respectively, said the ministry.


The subsidies are designed as part of the measures by the central government to boost agriculture production and ensure the security of food supply.


(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2006)


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