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Agriculture minister stresses farm workers' interests


09:40, December 24, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Minister of Agriculture has stressed the need to implement measures to help farm workers.

Speaking to Xinhua on Sunday, a day after the Central Rural Work Conference closed, Han Changfu said the conference highlighted a number of issues.

Among them were grain safety and the effective supply of staple farm produce as the country faces structural shortages despite a balanced overall supply.

Various measures should be put in place to benefit farm workers, including the upgrade of supporting mechanisms when it comes to produce prices, developing farms and deepening processing of agricultural products, Han said.

He said while improving the country's basic rural system, China would focus on fostering new types of agricultural businesses.

This will require maintaining stable land contract relationships on the basis of household contract management while guiding the orderly transfer of farmers' land rights. Also, land transfers should be voluntary and compensated, Han said.

In 2012, China's grain output rose 3.2 percent year on year to 589.57 million tonnes, the ninth consecutive year of growth, according to National Bureau of Statistics data.

Despite the rising yield, the country still faces a tightening grain supply amid the increasing demand driven by population growth. In response, China has increased its imports of farm produce to meet domestic needs.

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