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China 2008 grain output seen at record

China is expected to have a fifth consecutive year of bumper harvests, with grain output this year seen at a record 528.2 million tonnes, official news agency Xinhua reported in late December.

“The main tasks for 2009 will be to maintain the stable and quite fast development of agriculture and the rural economy, by all possible means to guarantee the country’s grain security and food supply and to promote a sustainable increase of farmers’ incomes,” Xinhua said.

Du Ying, a top economic planning official, previously warned that 2009 could be a tough year for China’s grain production.

China has agreed to purchase a large amount of grain from farmers for state reserves to shore up prices, but analysts said the amount was too small to help support the market.

China’s grain harvest was about 510 million tonnes in 2007.

The meeting on Sunday also estimated that rural incomes would average 4,700 yuan ($687) per capita this year, up roughly eight per cent in real terms from 2007.

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