(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
China's agriculture policy in the year ahead will focus on raising farmers' incomes and increasing grain production, Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin has said. In an interview with the People's Daily newspaper, Du said China hoped to raise farmers' incomes by five per cent in 2004 following a four-per cent increase in 2003. Various policies to help raise rural incomes would include developing livestock and fish-farming industries, building up towns and secondary and tertiary industries in rural areas, cutting more rural taxes, and protecting farmers' property rights. Du said the government would also offer more help and legal protection to migrant workers. He confirmed that more than 100 million migrant workers would be moved to towns and cities, and 2.5 million migrant workers would be offered vocational training. The following is the text of the interview by staff reporter Xia Jun, entitled: "Work hard to help farmers increase income, raise grain-production capacity Interview with Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin" by Chinese Communist Party newspaper Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) web site on 26 December; subheadings as carried. The place and date of the interview are not given
A rainbow has appeared after a rainstorm. In 2003, despite the sudden onset of atypical pneumonia [SARS] and the frequent outbreak of natural calamities, the country's agriculture and rural economy have emerged unbeatable after undergoing a series of rigorous tests, a gratifying achievement that has not been easily come by. Recalling the country's agriculture and rural economy in 2003, Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin spoke with fervour and assurance, while being full of confidence over the outlook of the country's agriculture and rural economy in 2004.
Thanks to four bright spots, farmers have made more money
[Reporter] This year, the country's agriculture and rural economy have witnessed gratifying development, an achievement that has not been easily come by. What are its specific features?
[Du Qinglin] Under the correct leadership of the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] Central Committee and the State Council, agricultural departments at all levels have been working hard to deal with the negative impact of atypical pneumonia and natural calamities, with their efforts focused on attaining specific goals, such as making farm products more competitive, raising agricultural efficiency and increasing farmers' income, with the result that the country's agriculture and rural economy have registered sustainable development, displaying a sound momentum and gratifying successes.
Firstly, the rural economy has registered sustainable and healthy development. This year, despite a fall in the output of grain and oil crops, together with an engineered fall in the output of sugar crops, the output of cotton has remained largely stable, while the output of vegetables, fruits and other farm products has …