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Officials: China to advance agricultural reforms in 2017


12-21-2016 00:21 BJT

Fresh data shows that China's agriculture production this year reached its second-highest level ever. Senior agriculture officials said that in addition to stable production, 2017 will also be a year to advance reforms in the sector.

China has had a strong year in agriculture production and Agriculture Minister Han Changbin said structural changes in the sector are advancing. But Han said that the road ahead remains challenging.

"There's still a mismatch between supply and demand in the market. The tie between farming and livestock is not close enough. The industry chain still needs developing and there is a gap in farming development between regions," Han said.

The ministry says five elements need to be advanced in 2017. The first is to reduce corn production because of surpluses. Second is to maintain the stable development of pig farming and the dairy industry. The third is to reduce the scale of the fishing industry to lower pollution while maintaining production. Fourth is for the ministry to nurture a number of high-quality farming companies with competitive features. And fifth is for the government to encourage new business models for farmers.

There are still not enough high quality agriculture brands in China. In the future, farming productions should not only meet the quantity demand, but also focus of the quality demands," he said.

Han also said raising the income of farmers will be a strategic goal. Disposable income for farmers grew 6.5 percent in the first three quarters. That's the lowest growth in 13 years. As many farming produce are expected to sell at low prices next year, addressing the urban-rural income gap will be a key issue.

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