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Spring plowing, farming preparations urged

Updated: Feb 19,2020 04:49 PM

Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of facilitating spring plowing and farming preparations while advancing epidemic control, according to the State Council executive meeting on Feb 18.

More than half of the grain throughout the year is sowed in spring, and the economic foundation and social stability of the whole year will be affected if the timing is missed, he said.

Shortage of agricultural supplies not allowed

Detailed and categorized guidance should be provided for epidemic control in rural areas, the Premier urged. Localities will be directed to start spring plowing and farming preparations from south to north of the country. Winter crops should also be well managed.

The vast territory leads to great differences in climate between the south and the north of the country, so meticulous and solid measures for agricultural production should be taken according to local conditions, he said.

Green channels for point-to-point transportation of agricultural supplies must be established, and companies producing agricultural supplies such as seed, fertilizer, pesticide and fodder should resume production as early as possible, the Premier said, stressing shortage of agricultural supplies is not allowed.

Minimum purchasing price for rice guaranteed

According to the Premier, the minimum purchasing price for rice will remain stable this year, and could be raised if necessary. Areas where conditions permit can resume the planting of double cropping rice.

Outstanding issues affecting livestock and poultry production must be solved without delay, and greater support will be provided to businesses of livestock products and livestock farmers, the Premier said, adding that the country will support scale farming and increase purchasing and stockpiling of frozen pork.

Livestock and poultry farming must be intensified, according to a statement released after the meeting. Poultry farmers in key regions that suffered heavy losses will be eligible for loan extensions and relaxed loan guarantee requirements. And slaughtering enterprises will be encouraged to establish connections with livestock farmers.

Resumption of hog production should be stepped up. The threshold for slaughtered pigs that qualifies a hog farmer for loan interest discounts will be lowered from 5,000 to 500.

Major disease and pest prevention and control should be enhanced with closer monitoring and greater preparedness on all fronts, Premier Li said. Prevention and control of major animal diseases such as H5N1 influenza and African swine fever should be heightened.

The Premier stressed that farming is a strictly seasonal undertaking. All sub-national governments must fulfill their jurisdictional responsibilities and lose no time to promote spring farming with comprehensive and concrete measures, laying a solid foundation for a bumper harvest of summer crops.