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China to increase corn output to 150 mln tons in 2010China to increase corn output to 150 mln tons i

Published on 10 April, 2007, Last updated at 12:31 GMT


The Chinese government has announced that it will strive to boost corn production to 150 million tons in 2010 to meet the booming demand for animal feed and industrial use.

China, the world's second-biggest corn producer, would aim for at least 26.67 million hectares of corn in 2010, said Chen Mengshan, director of the Planting Management Bureau with the Ministry of Agriculture.

The ministry would encourage farmers to plant high-yield corn breeds, improve planting techniques, fertilization and use more modern technology and machinery.

Chen said on Monday the output per hectare would increase to 5.63 tons in 2010 from an average 5.25 tons last year, compared with nine tons in the United States.

China's corn consumption has risen rapidly in recent years, boosted by increasing demand for livestock and industrial use.

"China should be more self-reliant in corn supply as international corn exports are declining," he said.

Corn prices have risen sharply since 2006 as large amounts were brought up to produce ethanol against a backdrop of record international oil prices.

China's farmers are expected to plant 27.35 million hectares of corn this year, slightly higher than the 27.05 million hectares in 2006, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center.

The center predicted the nation's annual corn consumption for 2006-2007 would reach 144.5 million tons, while output would be 144 million tons.


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