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China foresees bumper grain harvest this year
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China can expect a record-high grain output of 525 billion kg this year, sustaining a rising momentum of grain harvest for five straight years, said a top economic planner at a national work meeting on rural economy on Monday.

"The steady increase in the grain output has helped reinforced people's confidence in the country's economic and social development," said Du Ying, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission at the meeting held in this capital of east China's Anhui Province.

However, he pointed out that China will face a hard year in the agricultural sector in 2009, as the global financial crisis started to cause turbulence in the world grain market.

Du said that major prices of wheat, corn and rice started to fall in October. A weak market demand would hurt farmers.

He urged the local governments to increase the minimum purchase prices of major agricultural products and the subsidies to farmers and the farming sector.

The commission's figures showed that the per-capita farmer's income would surpass 4,600 yuan (669 US dollars) this year, which is 400 yuan more than last year's level.

(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2008)

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