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China to Increase Financial Support for Agriculture Investment

China will increase its financial support for agriculture and farmers this year by a margin larger than last year, said a senior agriculture official here Tuesday.


Chen Xiwen, director of the rural work office of the central government, said at a press conference that this year will record three "continuous increases" in financial input in agriculture, a principle raised in a central government document issued on Monday.


The document, jointly released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, is the first set of major policies to be released this year focusing on rural development for the fourth consecutive year.


It said that the increase of agricultural investment out of the central budget, the increase in fund for rural regions out of state fixed assets investment, and the increase in fund for rural regions out of land transfer income will be higher than those of last year respectively.


"Weak agricultural infrastructure and slow technological progress are fatal problems to China's agricultural development. Financial support for agriculture out of central budget has been increasing by 30 to 40 billion yuan (US$3.75 billion to US$5 billion) a year in recent years," said Chen.


The central budget allocated 1,114.2 billion yuan (US$139.3 billion) to the construction of rural regions, agriculture and the development of farmers during 2003 to 2006.


Chen promised this year's investment in agriculture will be larger than last year both at the central and local levels. He said the government is working on the budget.


According to the document, China will strive to build an investment guarantee mechanism to promote modern agriculture construction by focusing more on infrastructure and social undertakings development in rural regions.


(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2007)

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