July 4, 2008


Jilin aims for 5 million-tonne increase in grain output


China's Jilin Province has embarked on a programme to increase grain output by more than 5 billion kilogrammes ( 5 million tonnes) within five years.


This would mean a 25-percent increase on current production.


The programme, estimated at US$3.72 billion, was seen as a national grain security issue and approved on Wednesday (July 2, 2008) by the State Council, the Cabinet.


The increase would make the province the country's fifth-biggest grain producer after Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Heilongjiang provinces.


The programme would involve 10 major projects such as irrigation, water diversion, mechanized farming, dissemination of improved grain varieties as well as advanced farm techniques.


The funds will come from special government allocations and subsidies, bank loans and provincial funds, according to Vice Governor Wang Shouchen, who is in charge of agricultural affairs.


The plan would add 200,000 hectares of arable land to the province, upgrade 133 million hectares of low/medium yielding land and further improve 2 million hectares of high yielding land. 


These would bring the province's estimated grain production to 25 billion kg annually.


Jilin is one of the world's top three corn production belts.


Rapid urbanization has pushed up grain demand in China, while grain production had been dropping until efforts by the government halted the decline recently.


China is expected its fifth consecutive bumper harvest of summer grain.

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