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Big but affordable: A huge pumpkin in Changchun, China on Wednesday.
BEIJING: China's central government has ordered the expansion of vegetable production, with increased funding and rail links, to stop an “increasingly serious” food supply situation in some major cities.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday agreed to take measures covering the entire process of vegetable planting, storage, transport, distribution, marketing, quality monitoring and consumption.
It ordered local governments to stabilise and expand vegetable farms in the suburbs of large cities, with minimum planting areas, and to set up vegetable reserves to meet demand for five to seven days in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
The State Council pledged more funds and preferential policies to support the construction of major vegetable production bases across the country.
Banks and other financial institutions were encouraged to step up lending to vegetable production firms and individuals. The State Council also urged efforts to step up construction of special railway lines linking production areas with major cities.
Those who spread false information to manipulate prices would be severely punished, said the statement. Mayors were to assume responsibility for the so-called “vegetable basket project” to ease pressures on the supply of vegetables and foodstuffs.
The Ministry of Agriculture initiated the “vegetable basket project” in 1988 to improve production and marketing of vegetables and foodstuffs. Under the project, about 4,000 wholesale agricultural produce markets were established across the country. State Councillors at the meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao heard that vegetable prices had fluctuated sharply in some large cities, with the supplies affected by frequent floods this summer. — Xinhua
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