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Farmer comments on grain prices at State Council press conference


09:16, December 26, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- A prestigious farmer said he hopes China's grain price will increase at a press conference hosted by the State Council Information Office (SCIO) on Tuesday.

Wearing an unruffled suit and a striped tie, 54-year-old Yu Huihuai, who hails from northeast China's Liaoning Province, was among three "grassroots guests" invited to discuss the country's grain output at the press conference.

Yu cited scattered farmland, a lack of funding and the generally low scale of farming as his most significant problems.

He said he hopes that a policy regarding land transfers will be released soon, as it will scale up production, adding that improvements to the lending system would ease the funding shortages experienced by farmers.

"The thing farmers hope for most is for grain prices to go a little higher. Although the prices rise every year, they are still a bit low," Yu said.

Yu, whose farms produced a higher yield per hectare than his county average this year, was honored for the achievement by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

Yu is among 500 individual farmers across China who have been recognized for making outstanding contributions to the country's grain output.

A total of 50 cities, 404 counties and districts at the same administrative level also received recognition, together with 400 agricultural technicians and another 200 individuals, according to the MOA.

The country has seen its grain output increase for nine years in a row, awarding successful farmers and rural officials each year.

Although large numbers of award-winners would come to Beijing for a commendation in the past, this year just three recipients were invited to address the press as part of the Chinese leadership's efforts to adopt a less bureaucratic working style.

The other two guests were Wei Hongxiang, a local official from Qihe county in east China's Shandong Province, and Yang Tao, an agricultural technician from neighboring Anhui Province.

"Through the SCIO and media reports, we hope more people will be aware of our efforts, as well as show interest and support for grain production," said Bi Meijia, the MOA's chief economist and spokesman.

"This will boost the morale of our grain-growing farmers and we will be more confident about grain security," Bi said.

"We farmers can't grow crops without three magical tools: the support policies of government, technology and agricultural equipment," Yu said.

"Let us have a tenth consecutive year of grain output growth," he added.

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