Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called on governments at all levels to pay more attention to maintaining the balance between grain supply and demand and to safeguard proper land use in rural areas.
The premier made the remarks in a recent speech on rural issues, which the State Council, or China's cabinet, released on Thursday.
The premier noted in the speech that steady improvement of grain production and ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply are the base for economic development, social stability and national independence.
Despite wonderful successes in steadily raising grain output through the introduction of reforms and the opening-up drive, along with the development of agrosciences, the base for current grain production is "unsteady," said the premier.
In addition, it would be more difficult to increase grain production as the population rises, water shortages appear and farming land decreases, said Wen.
Therefore, all governments should adhere to the policy of depending on domestic production for basic grain supply, pursue the building of a comprehensive grain production capacity, improve the national grain storage system and strengthen control of the grain market, he said
"In 2006, grain production will encounter adverse circumstances such as unstable grain prices, arable land shrinkage and an unpredictable climate," said Wen.
He stressed the need to maintain stable grain prices, while curbing excessive increase in the prices of products needed for farming, which has greatly affected farmers' enthusiasm for growing grain.
Land management is a key problem in the reform and development of the countryside, which not only concerns rural development and stability but might also affect the country's overall industrialization and urbanization process, Wen said.
The premier said that land confiscation for construction projects must be strictly controlled, and farmers' property rights must be respected so as to guarantee the development of agriculture and stability in the countryside.
All governments across the country should pay careful attention to economic compensation and resettlement work for farmers affected by land confiscation.
In addition, more effort should be made to beef up agricultural infrastructure construction with water conservation and comprehensive agricultural development as the core, said Wen.