China needs to produce at least 500 bln kg of grain per year: official

08:46, March 11, 2010      

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China's Vice Agriculture Minister Wei Chao'an said Wednesday that it is a "bottom line" for China to produce an annual grain output of 500 billion kilograms.

China needs this amount of grain to be self-sufficient, Wei told a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual parliamentary session in Beijing.

This year, grain consumption in China is estimated at more than 525 billion kilograms, he said, emphasizing that it has always been China's top priority to feed its large population of 1.3 billion.

Grain output reached 530.8 billion kilograms in 2009, the sixth consecutive year for China to see growth in grain yield.

"Even this amount could only just meet the demand," Wei said.

Cold waves, snows and droughts have added pressure on this year's summer grain yield, but Wei said he remains confident of a good harvest.

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