China allocates 1.5 bln yuan to vegetable supply for northern cities

19:21, February 01, 2011      

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China's central government has allocated 1.5 billion yuan (227.96 million U.S. dollars) to support vegetable supplies for key northern cities, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday.

The fund will be used to subsidize producers and suppliers to ensure winter vegetable supplies, the MOF said in a statement on its website.

Vegetable shortages usually occur in the north due to bottlenecks in supply and transport. With plentiful supply resources this year,transportation was the key bottleneck, said Chen Yu, an official with the agricultural department in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province.

Vegetables mostly are transported by road from the south, but this is vulnerable to icy weather, which can cause traffic deadlocks, resulting in rotten vegetables and losses.

The MOF said the fund allocation aimed to support the State Council's requirements of city governments to underpin the "vegetable basket project" and to "ensure supply and stabilize prices."

The Ministry of Agriculture initiated the "vegetable basket project" in 1988 in a bid to improve production and marketing of vegetables and foodstuffs.

Under the project, about 4,000 wholesale agricultural produce markets were established across the country. [ The State Council proposed a new "vegetable basket project" in March this year and put forward a five-year plan.

City mayors were to assume responsibility for the project to ease pressures on the supply of vegetables and foodstuffs, said a statement from the State Council in August last year.

Source: Xinhua
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