Bumper harvest expected as autumn production proceeds smoothly: official

09:43, July 16, 2011      

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China is expecting a bumper harvest this year, with a successful summer harvest already completed and autumn grain production "going smoothly," agricultural officials said Friday.

Fang Yan, vice director of the rural economy division of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a press conference that China is likely to see a good harvest this year if no serious natural disasters take place in the second half.

This year's summer grain output stands at 126.27 million metric tons, up 2.5 percent from a year ago.

China had a bumper harvest for the seventh consecutive year in 2010, with grain output up 2.9 percent year-on-year to hit 546.41 million metric tons.

Fang estimated that Chinese farmers will plant a total of 773.3 million hectares of autumn crops this year, a year-on-year increase of 466,666 hectares over last year.

Rain-triggered floods earlier this year did not have a significant effect on the production of early rice crops, Fang said. She said that she expects early rice output to remain stable or even increase over last year.

Chen Mengshan, a spokesman from the Ministry of Agriculture, also said on Friday that China's autumn crops have been growing steadily, which will set a solid foundation for a good harvest.

Chen also warned that farmers may still face some natural disasters in the following months, including summer droughts in the northeastern regions and flooding in the south.

Fang said the steady growth was a result of increased government support for agricultural production. The NDRC has spent 16.3 billion yuan(about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars) on grain production so far this year, up from 14.6 billion yuan spent last year.

Source: Xinhua
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