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UPDATED: 11:16, December 03, 2004
China's agriculture sees three increases in 2004
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With a momentum of "increase in grain output, efficiency improvement in agriculture and income rise for farmers", an important improvement in China's grain production and relatively faster growth in farmers' income laid important material foundation for maintaining the stability and development of the economic society, this is the conclusion made on China's agriculture this year at a regular meeting of the State Council recently.

In recent years China has been witnessing a recession in grain output and farmers' income with a widening urban and rural gap. Since 2004, the Party and the government intensified its support for farmers, agriculture and rural areas. Only several months after the "No. 1 Document" issued by the central authorities, the Party Central Committee and the State Council made public a series of measures backing grain production and raising farmers' earnings. The government grew stronger in its macro-control over agriculture. This year, against shrinking scale of investment in state bonds, the ratio of agriculture-backing state bonds increased nearly five percentage points. The policies such as that on ��three subsidies and one reduction (subsidies to grain production, the reduction and exemption of agricultural taxes, and the payment of arrears of farmer workers' wage and compensation for land acquired) ", also paved way for the reform in township institutions and building grassroots democracy in the rural areas.

Figures from the National Statistics Bureau show that on the basis of a 4.8-percent growth in summer grain output, 32.1 billion kilograms of early rice output were harvested, up 8.8 percent. A good harvest was made in autumn grain production too. There will be an obvious increase in the total grain production this year than that last year and the target of 455 billion kilograms set at the beginning of the year will be no problem. A four-year slump since 2000 has been reversed.

The national project for high-quality grain industry has been gradually launched in 13 major grain-producing areas. The area for growing quality wheat takes up 46 percent of the total, up 6 percentage points than that of last year while the area for growing early rice 70.5 percent of the total, up 8 percentage points than that in 2003. According to the project 50-million-mu or 3.33 million acres of standard crops will be constructed by 2007 with an additional capability of producing 12 billion kilograms, and by 2010, 100 million mu or 6.66 million acres of standard crops will be built with an additional capability of producing some 10 billion kilograms.

Farmers' income was also increased in a big margin. In the first three quarters of this year, farmers' per capita income was 2, 110 yuan with an actual 11.4-percent growth, which is 7.6 percentage points higher than in the same period of last year. The rate is also 4.4 percentage points higher than that of the urban per capita disposable income at the same time. The cash earned by selling agricultural produce grew by 24.9 percent. Authoritative prediction is that the net per capita income is likely to grow at a higher speed than the goal of 5 percent set at the beginning of this year.

Rebound of grain prices and growing output helped lift farmers' income earned through the sales of agricultural produce. Three characteristics can be seen in the increase of farmers' cash income: a growth rate tendency higher than that of urban residents' income, an actual two-digit growth rate, a turnaround of years' slump in farmers' income through plant production, especially grain.

By People's Daily Online

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