Chinas grain output rises for 10th year in a row

Written by PTI | Beijing | Updated: Nov 30 2013, 09:34am hrs
Chinas grain production has risen for the tenth consecutive year, with output soaring 2.1% year-on-year to hit 601.94 million tonne.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday, grain cultivation areas this year totalled 111.95 million hectares, up 0.67% from 2012.

The average yield per unit area rose 1.4% from 2012 to hit 5,377 kg per hectare this year.

NBS senior statistician Huang Jiacai attributed the growth to the governments policy support for farming, favourable weather conditions in major growing areas, and a successful fight against pests.

The NBS said the government has continued to expand subsidy programmes for agriculture and raised the minimum purchase prices for wheat and rice to stimulate production.

China launched the minimum pricing programme in 2006 to protect farmers from price volatilities, stipulating that the government will buy wheat for state reserves at a set price when market rates fall below the set price, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The central government set aside billions in subsidies this year to support the use of key technologies to combat pests and mitigate the impact of droughts.

Despite the bumper harvest, analysts cautioned of challenges China faces to meet the growing demands of its billion-plus population, including shrinking arable land amid an urbanisation drive and pollution due to excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers.