China's 2011 grain output reaches 571.21 mln tonnes

   Date:2011-12-02     Source:liaoyanwangxin

China saw a bumper harvest of grain this year, with its output rising to a record high of 571.21 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

The strong harvest marked eight consecutive years of growth for China's grain output, the NBS said in a statement posted on its website.

Yields of summer grain, early rice and autumn grain totaled 126.27 million tonnes, 32.76 million tonnes and 412.18 million tonnes this year, up 2.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 5.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The output of the country's three major crops -- rice, wheat and corn -- hit 510.45 million tonnes this year, the statement said, adding that a sharp increase in corn output showed further improvement in the country's grain production structure.

The country's 13 major grain-producing regions, including the provinces of Hebei, Jiangxi, Shandong, Jiangsu and Anhui, saw their output rise 5.4 percent from one year earlier to 434.22 million tonnes in 2011, the statement said.

The 13 regions contributed 76 percent of the nation's total grain output.

The provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and Inner Mongolia autonomous region reported a combined rise of 13.86 million tonnes in their grain output this year, which accounted for 56 percent of the country's total increase.

However, grain output in Guizhou province and Chongqing municipality dropped because of a severe drought this spring. Grain yields in Guizhou fell 21.2 percent, while Chongqing's grain output decreased 2.5 percent year-on-year.

Agricultural production is crucial to the country as it has to feed 1.3 billion people and fight stubbornly high consumer prices.

The NBS said government farming subsidies plus favorable weather conditions, despite a drought in the southwest regions, contributed to the rise in grain production.

The country handed out 140.6 billion yuan (22.18 billion U.S. dollars) in subsidies for agricultural production this year, up 17 percent from one year earlier.

Meanwhile, the government raised wheat and rice minimum purchase prices by 5-7 yuan and 9-23 yuan per 50 kilos, respectively, in order to stimulate farmers' enthusiasm for production.

China launched the minimum pricing program in 2006 to protect farmers from price volatility, stipulating that the government will buy wheat for state reserves at a set price when market prices fall below it.

The nation allocated 3.48 billion yuan in relief funds to disaster-hit rural areas this year, a move intended to minimize the impacts of natural disasters on the country's agricultural production.

Thanks to these efforts, only 38.8 million hectares of farmland were affected by floods and droughts during the first nine months of the year, down 9.8 percent year-on-year, which accounted for 24.2 percent of the total acreage sown.

Furthermore, the NBS said application of technological innovations also helped raise grain output. The per unit area yield rose 3.9 percent to hit 5,166 kg per hectare in 2011.

The country reaped 546.48 million tonnes of grain last year.

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