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First Half Summer Grain Output Rises Despite Disasters

China's summer grain output climbed 1.3 percent in the first half of 2007 despite frequent and severe natural disasters, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

The grain output hit 115.35 million tons, 1.46 million tons up from the first half of last year. The output has risen for four straight years since 2004.

Continuous rainfall this summer has caused widespread floods in many regions in eastern and southern China, damaging million hectares of crops.

Summer crops make up around 20 percent of China's annual grain output, which jumped 2.8 percent year-on-year to 497.46 million tons last year.

The ministry said the planting area of autumn grains as well as cash crops such as cotton and vegetables has risen steadily, without giving further details.

Food security is a major concern for China as infrastructure and factory construction projects swallow a large amount of arable land each year.

China's output of meat rose 1.3 percent to 36.52 million tons in the first six months of 2007 from a year ago. Meanwhile, the output of eggs hit 13.5 million, up 2.5 percent from the first half of 2006, and dairy products hit 16.5 million tons, up eight percent.

(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2007)

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