Efforts aim for healthy grain harvest

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Left: Workers weigh the first season harvest of a two-season hybrid rice at the Nanfan Breeding Base in Sanya, Hainan Province on Friday. Right: A harvester harvests rice in a research field. After measurement, the production amounts to 13.65 metric tons per hectare, while the annual production target for hybrid rice is 22.5 metric tons per hectare. (LI XUESHI/FOR CHINA DAILY)

China will step up efforts to coordinate agricultural production and COVID-19 epidemic prevention, stabilizing economic development in agriculture and rural areas amid rising uncertainties in the global economy, it said recently. said a senior Agriculture Ministry official.

Vice Minister Deng Xiaogang said annual grain production of more than 650 million metric tons is the mainstay, and spring planting under epidemic prevention and control measures is crucial for the summer harvest of the country. country, the first battle for the annual grain harvest.

Affected by rare autumn floods in five provinces last year, the late sowing area of ​​winter wheat reached 7.3 million hectares, resulting in a complicated sowing situation that did not occur. since many years.

Additionally, the prices of agricultural materials such as pesticides have continued to rise and many places are experiencing outbreaks of domestic cases. “The summer grain harvest has come under unprecedented pressure,” Deng said.

The central government has invested a record 6 billion yuan ($900 million) to support summer grain production, including 1.6 billion yuan to subsidize robust wheat growth. A one-time subsidy of 20 billion yuan has been distributed to farmers to ease the impact of rising agricultural commodity prices, he added.

The ministry launched campaigns to study each county’s seedling growth and dispatched 100 officials and 200 technicians nationwide to instruct field management in accordance with emergency plans and guidelines.

As the transportation of agricultural products is affected by local epidemic outbreaks, “the ministry has opened a hotline and online messaging platforms to solve the difficulties faced by farmers during spring sowing.”

Currently, the supply of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides is generally guaranteed. Summer grain production is better than expected. Spring planting is progressing smoothly and faster than last year, with more than 40 percent of crops already planted, Deng said.

He pointed out that increasing farmers’ income is a key task of the agricultural sector. “An important measure to test the success of rural work is to check whether farmers’ pockets are deep,” he said.

In the first quarter of this year, farmers’ incomes grew by 6.3%, 2.1 percentage points faster than their urban counterparts. However, farmers have faced difficulties in getting to work due to the spreading epidemic.

“We must spare no effort to maintain the increase in farmers’ incomes by developing rural industries, stabilizing employment, promoting entrepreneurship and investing in business,” Deng said.

Local authorities will develop the agricultural processing industry, gradually restore rural tourism, and focus on developing characteristic industries in areas that have gotten rid of poverty.

As wages account for more than 40% of farmers’ total income, modern agricultural industrial parks should be built to provide employment for farmers in nearby areas.

Regional cooperative projects and businesses should play a role in ensuring that more than 30 million migrant workers in formerly poor areas find employment.

The country will continue to promote rural entrepreneurship to further boost employment and increase farmers’ incomes.

“A rural start-up project can provide stable jobs for six to seven farmers and flexible jobs for an average of 17 people,” Deng said.

The ministry will continue to optimize the rural business environment, direct business capital to the countryside and help farmers become prosperous together, he added.


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