December 13, 2011
China's winter wheat and rapeseed planting areas increased moderately over the preceding year, with high-quality seeds covering more acreage this year, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said Monday (Dec 12).
The wheat and rapeseed crops in major growing areas also have had a good germination rate thanks to sound management, the ministry noted.
The MOA estimated the nation's autumn and winter planting area of grain crops at 400 million mu (26.67 million ha), up 4.1 million mu (273,333 ha) over the previous year, and that of rapeseed at 102 million mu (6.8 million ha), up 1.7 million mu (113,333 ha) on-year.
The rise in grain planting area was mainly due to the government's support policy, the MOA said. China raised the wheat and rice minimum purchase prices by RMB5-7 (US$0.79-1.10) and RMB9-23 (US$1.42-3.63) per 50 kg respectively this year in order to encourage production.
The country launched the minimum pricing programme in 2006 to protect farmers from price volatility, stipulating that the government would buy wheat for state reserves at a set price when market prices fell below it.