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China Expects Consecutive Increase in Grain Harvest
    2008-06-10 16:09:57     CRIENGLISH.com
Despite the heavy snow storm early this year and the recent devastating earthquake, China's grain harvest is expected to see another increase this summer, the fifth in a row since 2004.

Experts say China's grain reserve is sufficient to meet its domestic consumption, while it also stands ready to help with the stability of global grain markets. Our reporter Shuang Feng has more.

The grain harvest this summer comes amid persistent heavy rain in South China, following the deadly earthquake that hit the country's southwest in May.

According to Yin Changbin, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, natural disasters would not pose a threat to China's food safety.

"We had heavy snow early this year, but winter snow is good for crops; the earthquake hit mainly mountainous areas, where little grain is for sale. The possible 10% decrease in the quake-hit regions will not harm the overall grain production in the country."

China's grain production has been on the rise in recent years. Yin Changbin pointed out this was a result of China's pro-agriculture policies, which greatly motivated crop growers.

Wei Zhongsheng is chief economist with the Agricultural Department of central China's Henan province, one of China's key grain production provinces.

"With more incentives put in place and improvement of agricultural technologies, farmers have shown more initiative in growing crops. This year, the total grain output in Henan is expected to hit another record high."

China`s summer grain harvest accounts for up to 23 percent of the nation's annual grain output.

It's estimated that grain production in the province is to exceed 30 million tons this year, over two percent more than in 2007.

China's agriculture minister Sun Zheng said China is willing to cooperate with all countries in maintaining global food safety.

"China has achieved net export in its grain trade. We will offer as much aid as possible to countries in need of food, and provide technological assistance and personnel training to developing countries."

By March this year, China's grain reserves amounted to 200 million tonnes, equal to 30 to 40 percent of the country's annual production.

China's current ratio of reserves to consumption is 35%, almost double the minimum 17-18% level set by the United Nations.

Shuang Feng, CRI news.
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