China intensifies efforts to ensure supply of farm produce, keep prices stable
The Chinese government will take stronger measures to ensure the supply of key farm produce and keep prices stable, the State Council decided at its executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
Wednesday's meeting pointed out that agricultural production has been broadly stable this year, and grain output is expected to stay above 650 billion kg for the fifth straight year.
The multiple steps introduced for swiftly restoring hog production are well underway, and good progress is being made with key agricultural products.
The recent price hikes of some products in the "food basket", which mainly includes meat, aquatic products, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables, have driven up overall prices and affected people's daily lives.
"Another bumper harvest of grain production is well within reach this year, yet we must be clear-eyed about the challenges in agriculture. In particular, the relatively fast CPI rise deserves our close attention. We must see to it that the economy continues to develop within the appropriate range," Li said.
The meeting urged efforts to take multi-pronged steps to restore hog production at a faster pace, by removing unjustifiable farming bans across the country. A bumper harvest of corn in north China will help better ensure pig feed supply for pig farming provinces in south China.
The meeting also urged to increase the production of poultry, beef and mutton, and tap into the food reserves to ensure the supply of key farm produce and curb the price spikes of certain products.
The meeting called for efforts to protect the farmland, and improve the mix and quality of grain production to make a success of the farming this fall and winter.
Construction of water conservancy facilities should be stepped up during this winter and the next spring to steadily improve farming conditions.
Local governments should activate the mechanism that link social assistance with price rise to meet basic livelihood needs of those living in difficulty. There should be no slackening of effort in ensuring grain production to make sure that China has full self-sufficiency in grain supply.
"Our crucial task now is to take a host of measures to ensure the supply of key farm produce and keep prices stable. This is vital in maintaining macro economic stability," Li said.
The meeting decided on steps to cultivate high-standard farmland for greater grain production capacity. The goal is to develop one billion mu (67 million hectares) of such farmland by 2022 with over 500 billion kg of production capacity.
Stronger support will be given to the building of such farmland through local government bonds and land leasing revenues. Private capital will be attracted to such projects through diversified channels.
"We are able to ensure overall self-sufficiency of grain supply and absolute food security. Government departments must make concerted efforts in supporting agricultural production and the development of high-standard farmland," Li said.
"The price subsidies for low-income people should be activated nationwide to ensure their basic livelihood," Li added.