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Xinjiang seeks to ensure farm produce sales after riots
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09:15, July 19, 2009

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Authorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region are seeking to promote sales of local farm produce in the wake of the deadly riots in the regional capital Urumqi on July 5.

Qian Zhi, vice chairman of the regional government, Saturday urged using multiple ways to sell agricultural products.

The region accounts for around one third of the country's total cotton production.

Local governments are called on to promote local farm produce at agricultural expos around the country and also to purchase some as reserves.

The region will also seek assistance from the sister cities and provinces, Qian said.

Many farmers have found it harder to sell their farm produce in the wake of the July 5 violence as fewer customers go to the region amid safety concerns.

The violence in Urumqi had left left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured.

Turpan, a city famous for grapes, is no exception as fewer traders are coming to buy the fruits.

Li Yongbin, a trader from Shaoyang, central Hunan province, said that there are only 200 traders from Shaoyang this July, compared with 800 a year earlier.

Zhou Yousheng, another trader from south Guangdong province, said many traders go to Dunhuang, Xinjiang's neighboring Gansu province, instead of Turpan.

"It's evident that this will hurt Xinjiang's economy," Zhou added.

Source: Xinhua

Special report: Urumqi Riot

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