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Grain Output Expected to Rise for 5th Consecutive Year

China's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Saturday said it expects an increase in grain output for the fifth consecutive year.

The country has harvested nearly 80 percent of its autumn crops and expects 2008 to be a bumper year, the ministry stated.

The State Grain Information Center earlier estimated that this year's grain output would reach 511.5 million tons, up 10 million tons from 2007.

Higher grain production happened in spite of natural disasters and troubled domestic and international economic environments, the MOA noted.

The output increase was attributed to government subsidies, pest control and more advance agricultural techniques, the ministry said.

The central government allocated 102.86 billion yuan (US$15.1 billion) in agriculture subsidies this year, doubling the money from 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency October 12, 2008)

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