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Farmers Must Get Subsides for Spring Ploughing
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Vice Premier Hui Liangyu has urged local governments to make sure farmers get subsidies and other aid so that spring ploughing can be successfully carried out.

Don't let farmers lose their enthusiasm, Hui told local governments during his recent tour of Shaanxi Province, emphasizing that spring ploughing determines the grain output for the whole year.

Grain farmers need to get their seed and farm machinery subsidies as soon as possible and in full, Hui said.

Fertilizers, seeds and machinery for farmers must be supplied at a fair price and be of good quality.

The minimum procurement price for grain this year will be no lower than the 2006 price, Hui said, adding that a minimum price for wheat would be launched in a timely manner.

Hui pledged to keep the grain price steady during the year with improved monitoring and macro control of the market in order to safeguard the interests of farmers.

The central government has so far provided 8.3 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion) of subsidies to farmers engaged in spring ploughing in 2007.

China's grain output for its 1.3 billion population grew for the third consecutive year last year to reach 497 million tons last year, up 2.8 percent or 13 million tons on 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2007)

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