Li calls for sound agriculture

Updated: 2013-05-09 00:59

(China Daily)

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Premier urges efforts to guarantee market supply and stable prices

Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday urged sound agricultural production to guarantee market supply and stable prices.

At an executive meeting of the State Council, Li said the country's agricultural economy has seen stable development since the start of the year.

However, difficulties exist in agricultural development, the council was told.

The country's northeast regions have seen excessive rains, and the drought in northwest and southwest areas has not been fundamentally relieved.

Pork prices are going down, the supply of beef and mutton is tight, the poultry industry is being greatly affected by the H7N9 bird flu, and agricultural production is being affected by the earthquake in Sichuan province.

"We should effectively deal with those difficulties and prevent the supply and prices of agricultural products from having big fluctuations, and solving these problems can help realize steady economic growth and increase farmers' incomes," said Li.

Several measures should be taken to address those problems, the executive meeting was told.

The council decided to continue to support the pig industry through increasing the State and commercial reserve of pork to stabilize prices and boost farmers' confidence. It urged the setting up of a mechanism for the harmless disposal of dead animals.

The government will support the construction of infrastructure on key cattle and sheep farms by subsidizing counties that have strong production capacity in an aim to increase meat supply.

The council also urged a severe crackdown on illegal production and sales of fake meat products to ensure food safety.

At the same time, the executive meeting said the government will take measures such as allowing short-term subsidies for key poultry processing enterprises and other financing means to help the poultry industry develop and ensure production.

It also urged a recovery of agricultural production in quake-hit areas in Sichuan as soon as possible by supporting the restoration of local infrastructure and farmland.

Policies and funding will be directed to the development of modern agriculture and enhancing the industry's competitiveness and ability to resist risks, the meeting was told.

A mechanism that links consumer prices and the minimum living allowance of low-income residents should be improved to better guarantee a basic living for people in need, according to the meeting.

The meeting also urged local governments to take innovative measures to guarantee supply, bring inflation under control and increase the income of farmers to boost economic development and improve people's livelihoods.