Premier Wen Jiabao has renewed his pledges to boost
agricultural development and improve the welfare of the nation's
On a visit to eastern Jiangxi Province from Friday to Sunday, Wen
said the government would continue to raise subsidies for farmers
and bring them tangible benefits.
He said the government would continue to buy grain at
prices no lower than last year and was considering offering more
subsidies for production materials to ensure no decline in farmers'
The government cancelled the rural tax nationwide in
2006 and offered farmers direct subsidies to boost their incomes,
but rising prices of fertilizers and other production materials has
eroded some of the benefits.
Wen also pledged more government spending on
agricultural infrastructure and agricultural insurance that the
government was piloting in a number of provinces.
In response to demands for more rural bank loans, he
said the commercial banks and rural credit cooperatives were
expanding their loan capacity in rural areas.
He also called on local officials to make more efforts
to improve farmers' incomes by establishing production bases and
help the farmers sell at good prices.
He said the government would boost spending on the
rural cooperative medicare system to ensure affordable medical
services for farmers.
(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2007)