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'Green Corridor' Network Opened for Fresh Agricultural Produce

China opened a 27,000-kilometer agricultural transport network Sunday, said a senior official with the Ministry of Communications in Beijing on Sunday.

The network can facilitate the transportation of fresh agricultural produce, including fresh vegetables, fruits, aquatic products, livestock, meat, eggs and milk, said Vice Minister Feng Zhenglin.

Along the network, special passages are opened for these vehicles carrying the above products, he said.

Based on the national highway network, the "green corridor" network connects China's 29 provincial capital cities and another 71 major cities at the prefectural level, Feng said.

The network will contribute greatly to the stable supply of fresh vegetables in cities, he said, adding this will also promote China's agricultural development and increase farmers' income.

In 1995, some ministries launched four "green corridors" to guarantee a stable supply of vegetables for urban areas.

These linked major vegetable and fruit production bases, such as Shouguang in east China's Shandong Province and southern Hainan Province. Local governments involved in the network will not charge or charge less tolls of vehicles carrying agricultural products in a bid to cut transportation cost.

The whole length has so far reached 11,000 km. Some provinces have also built their own regional "green corridors."

The plan of the network has been made by seven ministries, comprising the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Agriculture, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Finance and the State Council Office for Correcting Malpractice.

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2006)

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