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Food security tops rural development tasks | Updated: 2013-12-31 11:03

China has stressed the high priority of food security in its agricultural modernization and urged better arable land use and rural management.

The country reiterated the importance of securing food quantity and quality in the process of deepening rural reforms, according to a statement issued after a central rural work conference that ended on Tuesday.

"The bowls of the Chinese, in any situation, must rest soundly in our own hands. Our bowls should be filled mainly with Chinese grain. Only when a country is basically self-sufficient in food can it take the initiative in food security and grasp the overall situation for economic and social growth," the statement said.

The statement showed that ensuring sufficient quantity and reliable quality of food supply has become China's national food safety strategy, said Li Guoxiang, researcher with the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He said the development of a more professional, intensive, organized and open agricultural business mechanism will help ensure food safety and improve farmers' income.

Nie Fengying, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told the Shanghai Securities News that China is still troubled by the huge labor transfer from rural to urban areas and low enthusiasm for farming due to cheap grain prices, as the conference especially highlighted the food security issue.

The statement said that more efforts should be made to link agricultural subsidies with grain output to ensure farmers profit from grain planting and key production bases are active in encouraging farmers to plant grain.

Zheng Fengtian, an agriculture professor at Renmin University, told the newspaper that this indicates more subsidies for planting grain and higher procurement grain prices through future policies.

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