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Summer output of grains hits record high
Last Updated: 2020-07-16 08:55 | China Daily
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China's summer grain output reached a historic high of 142.8 million metric tons this year despite the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Wednesday.

Compared with 2019, this year's summer grain output witnessed an increase of 1.2 million tons, according to a statement released by the bureau on its website.

"The bumper harvest laid a solid foundation for this year's food supply, which gives us strong confidence in our goal to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and win the battle against poverty," said Li Suoqiang, director of the bureau's rural affairs.

While the total area used to grow summer crops declined 0.7 percent year-on-year to 26.1 million hectares this year, the statement said the average output from each hectare of crops rose 1.6 percent, leading to the overall output increase.

Li explained that the decline in crop area is due to the adjustment of planting structure. A change in market demand led some regions to plant more vegetables instead of grain crops, he said.

Moreover, Li said farmers, especially those living in the North China Plain, are encouraged to let their land lie fallow for a better harvest next year, further contributing to the decreased total area for summer crops.

Although the area declined, the average output from each hectare of crops increased thanks to good weather conditions before the summer, Li said.

Also, early surveillance and prevention work on possible losses caused by pests and crop diseases boosted the bumper harvest, according to Li.

"Facing challenges such as labor shortages because workers were advised to stay at home during the epidemic, we strengthened efforts on field management and the transfer of agricultural supplies," he said.

"On the whole, we haven't seen any big impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on grain production this summer," he added.

Summer grain is the first season of China's annual grain production, which accounts for more than a fifth of the annual grain output.

In May, Han Changfu, minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said China will not suffer a food crisis despite the ongoing pandemic due to a sufficient domestic supply.

He said China has had good grain harvests for more than a decade, and annual production of grain has remained at above 650 million tons for five years.

In June, Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua called for unremitting efforts to promote agricultural production and strive to accomplish the annual target of securing a bumper harvest.

He urged smoothing channels for procuring summer wheat and rice, and solving problems in this regard, including issues with funding and storage.

Hu also stressed promoting the construction of modern agricultural facilities and consolidating the foundations of securing stable production and supply of major agricultural products while strengthening any weak area in this regard.

Wang Xiaodong contributed to this story.

(Editor:Fu Bo)

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Summer output of grains hits record high
Source:China Daily | 2020-07-16 08:55
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