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China set to see another bumper year for grain output

Updated: Oct 17,2017 3:08 PM     Xinhua

A farmer harvests rice in Mudian Village of Huai’an, East China’s Jiangsu province, Oct 16, 2017. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Oct 16 estimated that the country’s grain output will surpass 600 million tonnes in 2017, indicating another year of bumper harvest.[Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Oct 16 estimated that the country’s grain output will surpass 600 million tonnes in 2017, indicating another year of bumper harvest.

Earlier official data showed China’s grain output dipped in 2016 as its planting area shrank and per unit yield edged down. National grain output stood at about 616 million tonnes last year, down 0.8 percent, compared with a year earlier.

On the back of supply-side structural reform, China has made progress in improving its industrial structure and promoting green development in the agricultural sector, an unnamed official with the MOA said.

Land for growing quality wheat, which has been in short supply, has been increased to 27.5 percent, 2.8 percentage points higher than the previous year, according to the official.

Farmers harvest corn in Pingyi County of Linyi, East China’s Shandong province, Sept 28, 2017. China’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Oct 16 estimated that the country’s grain output will surpass 600 million tonnes in 2017, indicating another year of bumper harvest.[Photo/Xinhua]

To work toward green development, China has further reduced the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

After years of bumper harvests, China no longer struggles with food shortages, but structural problems remain: some agricultural products are in oversupply and some still rely heavily on imports, while homegrown produce struggles to compete with foreign rivals.

Last month, China’s State Council released a guideline on accelerating supply-side structural reform in agriculture, specifying major tasks and targets for the sector’s development in the coming years.

By 2020, China plans to foster a modern system for the grain industry and raise the ratio of high-quality grain by around 10 percentage points, according to the guideline.

China is also eyeing an annual average expansion of around 7 percent in the added value of the industry, with the increase of the grain processing rate to 88 percent.

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