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Wen: Chinese People Self-sufficient in Food

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said during a spring planting inspection in north China's Hebei Province on Saturday and Sunday that the Chinese people were fully capable of feeding themselves.

Wen said the country's self-reliance in feeding its 1.3 billion people with its own grain production was a great contribution to the world.

"China has abundant grain reserves standing at 150 million to 200 million tonnes," said Wen. The government had already taken a series of measures to support farm and rural sectors.

The central government vowed this year to spend 562.5 billion yuan (US$80.1 billion) to support farms and the rural sector, 130.7 billion yuan more than last year.

The State Council, or Cabinet, decided last month to spend another 25.25 billion yuan in addition to this year's rural budget, mainly to subsidize farmers' purchase of seed, diesel, fertilizers and other production materials.

Wen told farmers in Renxian County, Hebei, "The government will not change its position in supporting farmers, and it will give more and better preferential policies to farmers.

"China's grain output grew four consecutive years to reach 500 billion kilograms in 2007, and we are confident the country can maintain a stable supply this year if there are no future severe natural disasters."

(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2008)

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