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Jilin details plans to up grain output
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08:48, February 10, 2009

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Jilin province is expected to increase its annual grain yield by 5 billion kg within five years, its governor said yesterday.

Improving the agricultural infrastructure is the key to achieving this ambitious goal, Han Changfu, said at the local people's congress.

Ten major infrastructure projects costing 26 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) are in the pipeline, he said.

The funds will come from the government, bank loans and other sources, Vice-Governor Wang Shouchen, who is in charge of agricultural affairs, said.

The main projects comprise 29 programs, including ones in water conservancy, irrigation, black soil protection, seedling research and development, ecological protection and the promotion of the use of machinery in grain production, he said.

Nineteen programs are already under way, with the remainder coming online later this year, he said.

"With the new program, Jilin, which boasts many natural advantages, will better use its grain production potential," Han said.

In addition, experiments on the complete mechanization of rice and corn production will also be carried out in the province, he said.

Jilin has more than 5.5 million hectares of arable land. Its soil quality is good, and the terrain is flat and concentrated, which is good for large-scale agriculture mechanization, he said.

Mechanization will greatly improve production, he said.

Situated deep in the Songliao Plain, which is formed by the Songhua, Nenjiang and Liaohe rivers, Jilin boasts fertile farmland and is one of the world's top three corn production belts.

More than 70 percent of its population is engaged in grain production.

Increasing grain output will help raise farmers' annual incomes by 500 yuan, Han said.

"We will intensify capacity in scientific research and technological development of agriculture, as well as enhancing development and introduction of new technologies and varieties," Zang Zhongsheng, director of Jilin agricultural development commission, said.

Jilin is the country's fifth-biggest grain producer after Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Heilongjiang provinces, he said.

It has enjoyed bumper harvests for the past five years and its grain output last year was 28.5 billion kg, an all-time high, Zang said.

Source: China Daily

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