China opened a 27,000-kilometer agricultural transport network on Sunday, announced a senior official with the Ministry of Communications on Sunday.
The network will facilitate the transportation of fresh agricultural produce, including fresh vegetables, fruits, aquatic products, livestock, meat, eggs and milk, Vice Minister Feng Zhenglin said.
Based on the national highway network, the "green corridor" network connects China's 29 provincial capital cities and 71 major prefecture cities, Feng said.
The network will contribute greatly to the stable supply of fresh vegetables in cities, he said, adding this will also promote China's agricultural development and increase farmers' income.
In 1995, several ministries launched four "green corridors" to guarantee a stable supply of vegetables to urban areas.
These linked major vegetable and fruit production bases such as Shouguang in east China's Shandong Province and southern Hainan Province. Local governments involved in the network will not charge toll, or if they do at discounted rates to vehicles carrying agricultural products, in a bid to cut transportation costs.
The current length of the highway is 11,000 kilometers. Some provinces have also built their own regional "green corridors".
The network plan was developed by seven ministries: the ministries of Communications, Public Security, Agriculture, Finance, the National Reform and Development Commission, and the State Council Office for Correcting Malpractice.
(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2006)