Hundreds of millions of Chinese farmers
celebrated the third harvest festival on Tuesday, as the country expects
a bumper harvest despite the impacts of COVID-19 and severe floods.
Chinese leadership has described the anticipated autumn harvest as
"hard-won" after the country saw severe floods in the Yangtze River,
disruptions by the epidemic, droughts in the north, as well as typhoons.
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has said this year's autumn
grain production is generally guaranteed, citing better-than-expected
pest control and quick recovery from the summer floods.
said the area of autumn grain, which accounts for the bulk of the
yearly grain production, is estimated to reach 85.6 million hectares
this year, an increase of more than 333,333 hectares.
optimism is palpable in China's major breadbasket regions, where
farmers marked the festival with songs and dances, product exhibitions,
carnivals, and ceremonies to award "best-performing farmers."
Yuncheng City of north China's Shanxi Province, the main venue of this
year's harvest festival celebration, farmers and business people from
nine provincial-level regions of the Yellow River basin attended
farming-themed activities and promoted their products at exhibitions.
Yaowu, president of a Shanxi-based millet processing company, said
local millet farmers were expecting "probably the best harvest in a
decade," as the province was exempted from major natural disasters this
Gai Yongfeng, a farmer in
northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, won the title of "King of
Soybeans in Heilongjiang," in a ceremony in Fujin City.
COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year had threatened to disrupt Gai's
plan to sell soybeans and corn, the money from which Gai relied on to
buy seeds and fertilizer for a new round of farming.
the government opened a 'green channel' for us to sell grain and an
online platform to order agricultural materials, so our crop cultivation
went on smoothly," Gai said.
HEIGHTENED SUPPORT, BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE
as China's "grain barn," Heilongjiang boasts the country's largest
plantations of rice, corn, and beans. Local officials said the autumn
harvest was almost certain despite three typhoons in recent months.
from government aids, Gai said more advanced agricultural techniques
and better-quality seeds helped local farms withstand natural disasters.
provincial government said nearly 5 million pieces of agricultural
machinery were employed this spring, together with the implementation of
stricter farm management and higher standards.
Chun, the president of a local agricultural machinery cooperative in
Fujin, was leading farmers to drain water from rice paddies after heavy
rain unleashed by Typhoon Haishen in early September.
crops used to be soaked in water after heavy rain for a long time. But
we can drain water quickly this time thanks to the upgraded drainage
ditches, so a good autumn harvest is guaranteed," said Liu.
government assistance, construction of farming infrastructure, and
promotion of farming technologies are also credited for the relatively
fast recovery in many flood-devastated regions.
Province, located in the Yangtze and Huaihe river basins, is one of the
worst-hit areas by floods. As floodwater receded, Wang Qiquan, a farmer
in Funan County, was preparing his croplands for cabbage seedlings.
in Kanghu, a village along the Huaihe River, Wang relied on his
1-hectare farmland to lift his family out of poverty in 2016. This year,
the field of rice and watermelons were all inundated by floodwater,
casting a shadow on his livelihood.
help farmers recoup some losses, the local government purchased the
cabbage seedlings from east China's Shandong Province and distributed
them to farmers for free.
vegetables will be harvested in two months. That won't affect the wheat
planting in October," said Zhang Tao, a township agricultural official
who was helping Wang replant.
in 2018, the Chinese farmers' harvest festival coincides with the
autumnal equinox each year, which is one of the 24 solar terms of the
Chinese lunar calendar and usually falls between Sept. 22 and 24 during
the country's agricultural harvest season.
total grain output consists of three parts -- early rice, summer grain,
and autumn production. Autumn grain crops, which include corn and
middle- and late-season rice, account for the bulk of the grain
According to the
National Bureau of Statistics, China had bumper harvests of both summer
grain and early rice in 2020, marking year-on-year increases of 1.21
million tonnes and 1.03 million tonnes, respectively.
summer grain output, in particular, reached a historic high of 142.81
million tonnes this year in the 17th consecutive year of a bumper
China's autumn harvest this
year is of special significance as COVID-19 continues to rage globally,
prompting some countries to partially ban grain exports, a development
that heightened food security concerns, said Li Guoxiang with the Rural
Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
690 million people worldwide went hungry in 2019, and the COVID-19
pandemic is estimated to tip over 130 million more people into chronic
hunger by the end of 2020, according to a UN report.
is making great contributions to, and boosting the confidence of,
global food security, by ensuring food supplies to its own 1.4 billion
population," said the researcher. Enditem