2. Further progress was made in building a new countryside.
Investment to support agriculture was substantially increased. A total of 431.8 billion yuan from the central government was spent on agriculture, rural areas, and farmers in 2007, a year-on-year increase of 80.1 billion yuan. This includes 64.6 billion yuan from the central government allocations for development projects, accounting for 48 percent of the total investment funds for the year. Working and living conditions in rural areas were improved significantly in terms of water, gas, roads and electricity. Safe drinking water was made available to another 31.52 million rural residents, methane was provided to an additional 4.5 million rural families, 120,000 kilometers of rural roads were newly built or upgraded, and smooth progress was made in upgrading rural power grids in the central and western regions and extending power grids to more areas without electricity. Development of infrastructure for irrigation and water conservation was stepped up, and further progress was made in the projects to retrofit irrigation facilities in large irrigated areas with water-saving devices, to set up model water-efficient irrigation projects, to upgrade large drainage pumping stations in the central region and to reinforce dilapidated reservoirs.
Grain Output Growth
The output of major agricultural products increased steadily. Once again, we had a bumper grain harvest with total output amounting to 501.5 million tons, the fourth consecutive annual rise. Cotton output and sugar crop yield were 7.6 million tons and 111.1 million tons respectively, both reaching record highs. We formulated guidelines for stimulating hog production and stabilizing market supply of pork products and for promoting sustainable development of the dairy industry, and the downturn in hog production was overturned. Output of meat and aquatic products in 2007 reached 68 million tons and 47.37 million tons respectively.
Development of modern agriculture was vigorously promoted. Efforts were strengthened to develop large commercial grain production bases and industrialize production of high-quality grain crops. Implementation of the project to cultivate superior varieties and breeds was accelerated. Greater efforts were made to develop the system for quality and safety inspection of agricultural products, the system for preventing and controlling animal epidemics, and the crop protection project. Production of pollution-free agricultural products and green and organic foodstuffs and standardization of agricultural production were accelerated. The acreage sown to superior crop varieties was expanded, and yield per unit area and the quality of farm produce were raised. High-quality wheat acreage accounted for 61.6 percent of China's total wheat acreage and the acreage of high-quality rice accounted for 72.3 percent of total rice acreage, up 6.4 and 3.2 percentage points year on year respectively. The system for producing superior breeds of livestock, poultry and aquatic products began to reach a good economy of scale, and a group of national farms producing breeding stock and improved breeds were established.