China to ensure stable cotton production and supply, ministry
BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) – China will further implement the government's supportive policies for cotton to ensure stable production and supply, said Wang Xiaobing, a senior official with the Ministry of Agriculture.
This year, the country started to pilot a target price policy in the domestic biggest cotton production base Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which is of great significance to protect farmers' interest, strengthen market vitality and promote industrial development.
The target price policy, which will directly give subsidies to farmers if market prices fall below the target price set by the government, will promote market-oriented reforms of the cotton industry and raise the industry's competitiveness.
Wang predicted that China's cotton planting area would fall to 4.2 million ha in 2014 with output estimated at 6.5 million metric tons (tonnes). Although the output is likely to be slightly lower than last year, unit yield and quality will rise, he added. (Edited by Liu Xiaoyun, firstname.lastname@example.org)