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China pledges $11B to support grain farmers


Beijing | Reuters –– China will give a total of 57.8 billion yuan (C$11.26 billion) to grain farmers as part of efforts to deepen rural reform, promote modern agriculture and raise incomes for farmers, state news agency Xinhua said.

The total includes 14 billion yuan in direct subsidies, while 20.4 billion yuan will go to farmers to promote better crop varieties, Xinhua said late on Thursday, without providing a time frame.

A further 23.4 billion yuan will be used to support the “appropriate management scale of grain, with a focus on big professional bodies such as family farms and farmer co-operatives,” it added.

Last year Beijing scrapped its cotton and soybean stockpile schemes, switching to direct subsidies to farmers to cover the gap between a target price and the market price, but it kept the stockpile policy for grains, sugar and rapeseed.

Sinograin, the state stockpiler, purchased a record 125 million tonnes of grain in 2014, according to state media.

Reporting for Reuters by Ben Blanchard.

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