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Improper storage leads to huge grain loss

(Xinhua)

13:30, July 04, 2012

BEIJING, July 4 (Xinhua) -- An agriculture official said Tuesday that China loses about 25 million metric tons of grain every year due to improper storage.

"Such losses are startling," Zhang Tianzuo, director of farm produce processing bureau with the Ministry of Agriculture, told an agricultural forum held in Beijing, citing a loss ratio between 8 and 12 percent.

That amount is about equal to the annual wheat production of Australia, one of the world's major cereal exporters.

Also, the country loses more than 20 percent of the vegetables it produces every year, Zhang said.

He attributed the heavy losses in grain to substandard processing facilities and laggard technologies farmers and local agricultural associations use in preliminary processing.

The official said there was huge potential to improve the country's processing facilities. The sector will see rapid growth in the next decade or even a longer period of time, he added.

The Chinese government has allocated 500 million yuan ($79.14 million) in special funds this year to subsidize agriculture products processing projects.

China's grain output hit a record high of 571.21 million metric tons in 2011, marking eight consecutive years of growth.

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