China sees good autumn grain production despite disasters: official

China continued to see sound fundamentals to reap a bumper autumn grain harvest this year, in spite of severe disasters triggered by extreme weather in parts of the country, an official said on Wednesday.

“The impact of the disasters on China’s agriculture sector is generally less severe than previous years,’’ Wei Baigang, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, told a news conference.

Baigang added that the disasters affected production only in parts of the country and the impact was not long-lasting.

More than 4.8 million hectares of crops have been hit by disasters in China since June, down approximately 2.63 million hectares from a year ago and the lowest compared with the same period during the past five years, he said.

The regions severely hit by disasters accounted for a small proportion of the area growing autumn grain in the country, according to Wei.

China’s central province of Henan, ravaged by heavy floods in summer this year, reported about 730,000 hectares of disaster-affected autumn grain, accounting for less than one per cent of the national cultivated area for autumn grain.

In the provincial-level regions of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia, the drought-affected areas measured about 1.29 million hectares, only 1.5 per cent of China’s total autumn grain cultivated area.

Of the 13 major grain-producing regions, areas other than Henan have witnessed sound momentum in autumn grain production, said Wei, noting that northeast China is likely to see more output of corn and rice.

With the large-scale harvest of autumn grain coming, Chinese authorities have made preparations for disaster prevention and are confident of reaping a bumper autumn harvest in 2021, Baigang added. (Xinhua/NAN)