Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu Monday asked government agencies nationwide to ensure smooth operation of spring plowing in an effort to achieve continuous growth in farmer's incomes and grain production.
At a national teleconference on spring plowing, Hui said "Though China's agriculture has seen a favorable turn in grain production and an increase of farmer's income during the past year, it remains an onerous task for us to maintain the momentum."
Hui urged relevant departments to ensure timely delivery of subsidies for buying fine seeds and farm tools and direct subsidies for grain production, and to make public the minimum purchasing price of crops that are in short supply.
To achieve these goals, China will step up efforts in checking the price increase of chemical fertilizer, improve supervision over farming materials, and also promote water-saving irrigation technologies, Hui said.
At the beginning of 2005, the Chinese authorities jointly released the year's "No. 1 Document," which worked out 27 detailed, substantial measures to ensure financial, administrative and technological support to the agricultural sector, including tax exemption and reduction.
Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that in 2004, the per capita annual income for Chinese farmers was 2,936 yuan (US$354), up 6.8 percent over the previous year, a record growth rate since 1997. The grain output reached 469.5 billion kilograms, up 9 percent over the previous year.
(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2005)