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Nation Sets to Address Agricultural, Farmers' Issues

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presided over an executive meeting of the State Council Tuesday to discuss major agricultural issues and study ways to increase farmers' income and protect and improve the country's grain production capabilities.


The participants studied the issue of farmers' income and the current situation of grain production, in line with relevant resolutions adopted by the recent Third Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).


Next year, the government will adopt more direct, powerful and clear-cut comprehensive policies on these issues, according to the meeting.


According to the meeting, China will adopt a most strict land protection mechanism and step up management on land use substantially, and government use of cultivated land will be brought under strict control, so as to protect the rights and interests of farmers. Violations of relevant regulations will be severely punished, the meeting said.


Greater efforts will be made to help major grain production areas and farmers who are engaged in grain production, in order to stimulate the initiatives of grain production. The government will purchase surplus grain from farmers at properly higher prices as much as possible, according to the meeting.


China will further reform the grain circulation system and further reduce agricultural tax. Tax on agricultural specialties will be canceled so as to further reduce the financial load for farmers, according to the meeting.


The policy to readjust the structure of agriculture should be carried out in a correct way as it should not be simply interpreted as reducing the acreage of farmland used for grain production, the meeting said. In major grain-producing areas, efforts should be made to increase the capabilities of grain production, while in major grain-consuming areas, efforts must be made to maintain the fundamental farmland and certain capabilities of grain production, according to the meeting.


The meeting called for strengthening scientific research in agriculture and popularizing farming technology to increase unit yields of grain and improve the quality of grain. Governments at all levels should increase investment in the agricultural sector and step up efforts to build infrastructure for farming, the meeting said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2003)


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