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Grain Productivity to Hit Historical High
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The total grain production in China is expected to increase to 484 billion kilograms in 2005, 14.5 billion kg more than that of last year, with per mu (1/15 hectare) output hitting a historical high to reach 309 kg.


"The high growth of grain production per mu shows that the increase of China's grain production has shifted from the expansion of planting area to the advancement of farming technology," said Chinese Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin Wednesday.


Statistics by the Agriculture Ministry showed that mechanization of farming in China has reached 38 percent, and 48 percent of agricultural products were achieved due to technological improvement.


Du said while addressing the annual working conference on agriculture that China's grain production achieved a recovery increase in the past five years, with production growth in 2004 and 2005 totaling 50 billion kilograms.


During the past five years, farmers' income also grew by an annual average of 5 percent. The farmers' net income in 2005 is expected to reach 3,250 yuan (SU$406), up 314 yuan or 6 percent over the previous year, according to Du.


"Income from non-farming wages has witnessed a substantial increase and has become the new pillar of farmers' income growth," Du said.


According to the ministry's statistics, agriculture-related industrial organizations total 114,000 in China. And 40 percent of the farmers are engaging in non-farming industries.


Migrant workers from the countryside have been increasing by 4.42 million annually in the past five years, and there were 108.2 million migrant workers in China in 2005.


(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2005)


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