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Gov't Purchases 45 Mln Tons of Grain from Farmers at Preferential Price

In the first nine months of this year, the Chinese government purchased 45 billion kilograms of grain from farmers at the minimum floor price to protect rural people from a fall in market rates.

Nie Zhenbang, director of China's State Grain Bureau, made the remark in Yinchuan, capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Wednesday at a national conference on grain circulation.

The government purchased 41 billion kilograms of wheat and four billion kilograms of indica rice.

"The minimum grain price policy has been implemented to protect farmers' interests and ensure that grain continues to be planted," he said.

Explaining the policy, he said if the market price of major kinds of grain including wheat and rice drops below the minimum price set by the government, state-owned enterprises will intervene to buy grain at the minimum price.

During the first nine months of 2006, China's state-owned grain companies purchased grain totaling 90.9 billion kilograms from farmers, accounting for over 60 percent of the total bought from farmers.

The Chinese government has adopted a series of policies in recent years to protect farmers' interests, including abolishing agricultural taxes, providing subsidies and setting a minimum price for grain and a maximum price for fertilizers.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2006)

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