China aiming for bumper harvest despite adverse conditions
BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- China has achieved good results to date in securing grain harvests despite the impact of multiple adverse factors, according to recent government data, with the country on course for a bumper harvest for the year as a whole.
Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said in a recent press conference that the country's early rice output has increased this year with the help of various efforts, laying a good foundation for the annual grain harvest.
China's total grain output consists of three parts -- early rice, summer grain and autumn production. Figures released in July show the total summer grain output at 146.13 million tonnes this year, marking another robust summer grain harvest.
Autumn grain production, the lion's share of the annual grain output, is generally stable, which Fu said is conducive to a stable or higher level grain output throughout the year.
However, the grain harvest has not come easily this year as China had experienced adverse weather events. Typhoon-induced heavy floods swept across large swathes of the country, resulting in significant damage to vital crops.
Multi-pronged measures have been taken to ensure the food harvest, including increasing various funds and strengthening personnel and technical support.
The central government has allocated more than 9.68 billion yuan (about 1.35 billion U.S. dollars) in various flood prevention and relief funds for disaster-stricken areas since the beginning of this year's flood season.
Specifically, the Finance Ministry has allocated 2.4 billion yuan in subsidies for fertilizers, pesticides and other agricultural sprays to improve the yields of autumn grains such as corn and soybeans, while strengthening their resistance to detrimental environmental factors.
Another 200 million yuan of disaster relief funds has been earmarked for the use of agricultural machinery to conduct harvests and dry the soggy grain in central China's Henan Province, which had experienced prolonged periods of rainy weather that would affect the wheat harvest.
Since the beginning of August, the city of Wuchang, known as the main production area of high-quality rice in northeastern Heilongjiang Province, has been seriously affected by floods.
Groups of sci-tech workers in agriculture were organized by local governments and provincial science institutions to guide farmers in affected areas to save crops and reduce losses using scientific methods.
In Baimazhuang Village in the city of Zhuozhou, one of the areas in northern Hebei Province hit by floods last month, all 690 mu (46 hectares) of arable land in the village was flooded, according to Yang Hong, Party secretary of Baimazhuang Village.
However, thanks to government aid, 300 mu of farmland in the village once again met the conditions needed to resume cultivation, and replanting was able to start, Yang added.