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Subsidies Enhance Agriculture Links

The press office of the Ministry of Agriculture announced on April 25, 2007 that improved variety subsidies have enhanced the scientific level of grain production, increased grain production, and farmers’ income.


Improved variety subsidies were created five years ago, and today the land that receives improved variety subsidies has reached 373 million mu (around 24.87 million hectare), covering 13 main grain production areas, with the total improved variety subsidies reaching 4.154 billion yuan (US$539 million) and benefiting more than 58 million farmers.


The central financial department has earmarked improved variety subsidies for agricultural key links such as seed, agricultural machinery, training for farmers, and animal epidemic prevention in recent years to improve the overall agricultural production ability.


Xue Liang, the spokesman for the press office of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that 600 counties in 2006 provided free land measurement service to more than 40 million farmers and 260 million mu of arable land, and reduced unreasonable chemical fertilization by 500,000 tons, so that every mu in average saved more than 25 yuan (US$3).


In 2007, the central financial department is going to provide funds to more than 100 million farmers for free land measurement and fertilization service over 500 million mu of arable land.


Agricultural machinery purchase subsidies not only benefit farmers, but also benefit industry. In 2006, the central financial department provided 600 million yuan (US$78 million), local financial departments provided 1.1 billion yuan US$(143 million), and farmers and grass-roots agricultural machinery service organizations invested 4.5 billion yuan (US$583) to purchase more than 300,000 agricultural machineries and benefit 350,000 farmers.


The central financial department has earmarked 1.25 billion yuan (US$162)over three years to the Sunshine Project, which aims to arrange rural labor transfer. 8.8 million farmers have been trained and 7.6 million farmers have found jobs, helping the employment rate to rise to higher than 85 percent.


( by Wang Sining May 6, 2007)

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