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China plans pilot scheme in five regions to stabilize output in major producing areas

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BEIJING: China will launch a pilot programme in five regions this year which will include improving public services in major food crop-producing counties to support output, an official said on Sunday, part of Beijing’s efforts to ensure national food security.
“The crop-producing counties often have weak local economies and poor fiscal conditions,” said Han Wenxiu, head of a national work group managing rural issues formed by the Chinese Communist Party.”This problem if unresolved will hurt main crop producers’ initiative and affect the overall production and supply.”
The programme, to be launched in the Inner Mongolia region and provinces of Jilin, Heilongjiang, Anhui and Henan, will also include exempting crop-producing counties from certain funding requirements for upgrading farmlands, Han said in a news brief.
China will further prioritize rewarding counties that make a prominent contribution to China’s food safety, Han said.
Beijing pledged on Saturday to boost the development of high-yielding crop varieties to raise production in a key rural policy document.
The world’s largest grains importer reported a record corn crop last year and bumper harvests of other grains, but Beijing continues to strive for greater output and lower imports, particularly amid rising tensions with some trade partners like the United States, climate-related disasters and military conflicts.

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