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blank.gif (49 bytes)15/06/1999, updated at 16:00        blank.gif (49 bytes)weather.gif (982 bytes)archive.gif (946 bytes)search.gif (947 bytes)


China to Take Measures to Readjust Grain Structure

  The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday urged local agricultural departments to take "practical and effective" measures to help farmers readjust grain production mix.

  To promote the grain distribution system more market-oriented, the central government plans to phase out price protection for poor quality and oversupplied grain varieties next year, such as the spring wheat in northeast China, early long-grained rice in south China and wheat in the areas south of the Yangtze River.

  State protected purchasing prices for related grain will be lowered this year.

  Chen Yaobang, Minister of Agriculture, said at a meeting held recently that it is necessary to make appropriate readjustment as China's storage for grain and cotton has become a financial burden to some extent.

  But he added that the country still faces grain supply pressure from the long-term view and should never loosen up the grain production.

  Chen urged local agricultural departments to actively spread the use of high-quality grain and cotton strains and accessory planting technology.

  According to the ministry, the country will decrease the acreage planted with early rice in south China and that with wheat in the areas south of the Yangtze River. For spring wheat in northeast China, the importance will be placed on improvement of strains.

  Chen also suggested that the state-owned farms and grain and cotton production bases take a lead in the readjustment of grain production mix, noting that they have better production conditions and experience in grain strain improvement. (Xinhua)

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