Natural disasters and insect pests cost China's agriculture
sector nearly 100 billion yuan (US$12.5 billion) in direct losses
from January to August, with each farmer losing 100 yuan on
average, a senior agricultural official told Xinhua on Monday.
Citing crop cultivation and stock breeding as the "worst
affected sectors", Vice Minister of Agriculture Fan Xiaojian said
that the severe losses have made it "an arduous task" for China to
raise farmers' income.
He said that China had lost grain crops totaling 40.5 billion
kilograms by August, significantly more than the whole-year losses
of 30.5 billion kilograms in 2004 and 34.5 billion kilograms in
Typhoons and floods have killed 1.27 million livestock and 21
million poultry and destroyed 5.7 million square meters of
More than 1.2 million tons of aquatic products were damaged in a
water area of 5.5 million mu (about 366,667 hectares).
"So far this year, China has suffered drought, typhoons, floods,
frosts and insect pests. They have been of a rare violence, " Fan
The recent frost in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, for
instance, came very early and has affected the biggest area since
the beginning of Chinese meteorological records, he noted.
To facilitate post-disaster production and prevent new
disasters, Fan said that the Ministry has urged local agricultural
departments to closely track weather changes and to submit reports
twice a month.
Twenty-six disaster-relief squads made up of agricultural
experts and technicians have been sent to rural areas to help
restore the cultivation of wheat, rice, corns, beans and fruit
trees, he noted.
Fan said that the Ministry has allocated a relief fund of 75
million yuan to 10 disaster-hit regions, including Fujian, Hunan, Sichuan and Jiangxi provinces and Chongqing Municipality, to secure supplies of
seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, veterinary medicines and diesel
"Although the harvesting of autumn grain crops is only a
fortnight away, disaster prevention remains a pressing task as the
risks of early frost, drought, flood, typhoon, insect pests and
animal epidemic diseases still exist," Fan said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)