Harvest will be 'satisfactory'

Updated: 2011-07-16 09:36

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

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Harvest will be 'satisfactory'

A farmer harvests grain in Huaibei, Anhui province. [Photo / China Daily]

Area sown with autumn grains will rise by 46,700 hectares from 2010

BEIJING - China will experience a satisfactory autumn grains harvest, providing no major natural disasters occur, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Fang Yan, vice-director of the rural economy department at the NDRC, said the area sown with autumn grains will increase by 46,700 hectares from the 2010 level to 77 million hectares.

The area sown with corn will stand at almost 33.5 million hectares with a year-on-year increase of more than 666,500 hectares.

Meanwhile, mid-season rice will reach 18 million hectares, a rise of 440,000 year-on-year.

China had a summer grains harvest of 126.27 million tons this year, an increase of 3.12 million tons from 2010.

Fang attributed the greater yields to rising investment by the central government and an increase in the area sown with high-yield crops.

"The National Development and Reform Commission arranged investment of 16.3 billion yuan ($2.52 billion) in projects to protect arable land and improve water-conservation facilities," she said on Friday.

The area sown with corn and mid-season rice - two high-yield crops - reached a 10-year record of 51 million hectares this year, with a year-on-year increase of more than 1 million hectares.

The summer and autumn harvests will have a significant influence on the price of grains because they will reduce expectations of price fluctuations, according to Zuo Xiaolei, chief economist at China Galaxy Securities.

However, Huang Guiheng, a manager at the research department of Bric Global Agricultural Consultants Ltd in Beijing, predicted that the price of grains will continue to rise because the costs of agricultural production have increased by between 10 and 20 percent this year.

The increased harvest will also encourage the government to improve its management of supplies.

"The central government plans to transport 2.8 million tons (of grains) from the production areas to the main areas of consumption and areas with low supplies," Chen Jiaji, an inspector at the State Administration of Grain, told the news briefing.

"That will reduce the need to store grains in the main areas of production and stabilize prices by providing plentiful supplies to areas in need," he said.

In addition, a rise in yields for an eighth successive year will be "quite difficult" to achieve, because of uncertainties that may affect the autumn harvest, analysts said.

"Autumn grains account for 75 percent of China's whole-year grain yield. A number of natural factors, such as floods, inclement weather and typhoons, could all have a direct effect on the yield of autumn crops," said Zhuang Jian, a senior economist with the Asian Development Bank.

Huang of Bric, also thought an eighth increase in yields was unlikely, given the loss of arable land because of urbanization.

However, he said that even if an eighth successive increase does not occur, the shortfall will not be great.


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