China to tackle climate change challenges to agriculture

08:02, January 18, 2010      

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As climate change poses a great challgenge to China's agricultural sector, the government and farmers should tackle it in a scientific and systematic way, Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun said in an interview with Xinhua.

Climate change has posed great threats to the traditional farming sector, and extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, hailstorm, tropical storms, have ruined harvests far more often than before, Niu said.

He was in Berlin to attend the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, held during the 75th International Green Week in Berlin, the world's largest agricultural and food fair.

"The destructive power of climate change has reminded us of theneed to view the issue with a multi-dimensional perspective," he said. "We should tackle the challenges by renewing the agricultural system and continuously developing the country's economy."

The Chinese government would help farmers, herdsmen and fishermen create a sustainable mode of production by applying new technologies with lower costs and lower emissions, Niu said.

"The government will intensify investment of agricultural infrastructure and projects and impart more scientific knowledge and climate-friendly concepts to farmers," the vice-minister said.

"We want to build a comprehensive service system in the rural areas to offer multi-facet assistance to agriculture, such as providing peasants with quality seeds, machinery and advanced technologies," he said.

All these could help cut down losses caused by climate change and improve rural living standards, Niu said.

Despite unfavorable weather conditions and the international financial crisis, China's total grain yield was expected to hit a record high of 1,061.6 million tons in 2009, the sixth consecutive year of growth. The per capita annual net income of Chinese farmers has exceeded 5,000 yuan (735 U.S. dollars), up more than 6percent from 2008, according to the latest data.

At the forum, Niu rejected accusations that China blocked a deal last month at the Copenhagen climate change conference. "China has set the new target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions per unit of the GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level,"he told 50-plus foreign agriculture ministers.

"Above all, it was not conditional or linked with commitments by any other countries," he said.

Under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in addressing climate change, "China has demonstrated its highly responsible attitude towards the international community and future generations," the Chinese official said.

Some 1,600 exhibitors from 56 countries were taking part in the10-day annual fair, showcasing their best farm produce, livestock,farm machines, garden tools and newly-developed technologies.

Niu told Xinhua that attending the forum offered a chance to "broaden our vision about new trends of modern agriculture."

Source: Xinhua
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