Wed, 12 Aug 2020

Aerial photo taken on July 11, 2020 shows reapers harvesting flattened rice at Gangkou Township in Yueyang County, central China's Hunan Province. (Xinhua/Chen Zeguo)

BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- China's summer grain output reached a historic high of 142.81 million tonnes this year, up 0.9 percent from last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.

While the total area that grows summer crops declined 0.7 percent year on year to 26.17 million hectares this year, the average output from each hectare of crops rose 1.6 percent, leading to the overall output increase, the NBS said in a statement on its website.

The bumper summer harvest came despite the disruption of farming caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, which has been held in check thanks to efforts to ensure the transportation of agricultural materials and strengthen wheat farming management, said Li Suoqiang, an official with the NBS.

Li attributed the increase in average output per hectare to favorable weather that benefited wheat production, and an improvement in farm management and pest control.

The planting area has dropped mainly due to a seasonal fallow in north China to conserve farmland and the supply-side reform in the agricultural sector, which prompted an increase in the planting area of crops in higher demand and with greater profit margins like vegetables, he said.

The bumper summer harvest has laid a solid foundation for stable grain production this year, as well as for achieving China's goals of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and winning the battle against poverty, said Li.

China's total grain output consists of three parts -- early rice, summer grain and autumn production. Summer grain is the first season of the annual grain production, which accounts for more than a fifth of the annual output.

The country has introduced various measures to ensure stable grain output amid efforts to control the COVID-19 epidemic, such as fully implementing support policies like the minimum purchase price for rice and wheat and improving the quality of spring plowing.

As the world's top food producer and consumer, China saw its grain output reach a record high of 664 million tonnes last year, the 16th bumper year in a row. ■

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