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Cash Income for Farmers Up 11.4%
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The average cash income of Chinese farmers increased 11.4 percent in the first three quarters to 2,762 yuan (US$350), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Wednesday.

Taking inflation into account, the actual growth rate was about six percent for the whole year, according to a report on the NDRC website.

The growth of incomes for farmers for the the whole year was likely to surpass that of last year, thanks mainly to new government policies designed to support the development of agriculture.

These include the cancellation of agriculture tax, increased government subsidies to farmers and improved working conditions for migrant workers.

The report says incomes from farming were likely to rise this year as a result of higher production of cereals, cotton, poultry and other products.

It predicts that farmers' incomes from non-farming work could increase remarkably as a result of rising wage levels.

In the first nine months, 95.79 million farmers left their homes to work in towns, a rise of 3.8 percent from the same period last year.

Higher government subsidies also boosted incomes, the report says.

Central government spending on agriculture is expected to reach 339.7 billion yuan in 2006, an increase of 42.2 billion yuan from last year.

Farmers are expected to receive 31 billion yuan in subsidies for grain production, improved breeds, farming machine procurement, fertilizer and diesel, double that of 2005, the report says.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)

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