, BEIJING, Oct 3 – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday pledged that China will seek the steady growth of agricultural products and enable Chinese farmers to share the achievements of the country’s economic development and social progress.
Wen was speaking at a ceremony where he was awarded the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s Agricola Medal by FAO’s general director Jose Graziano da Silva at the Great Hall of the People.
“Thank Director Jose Graziano da Silva for conferring the medal on me. This is more than a personal honour to me. It represents the international community’s full recognition of and high acclaim for what China has achieved in agriculture and rural development,” Wen said.
China’s grain output has been increasing for nine consecutive years, with this year’s output about 150 million tonnes more than that of 2003, Wen said.
“This has provided a guarantee for China’s economic and social development and the improvement of people’s life. It has also contributed to the global food security.”
Wen attributed the achievements of China’s agricultural and rural development to the rural reform, the top priority given to agriculture and the principle of “industry supporting agriculture and cities supporting rural areas.”
The achievements would also be impossible without the government’s commitment to safeguard farmers’ rights, respect farmers’ aspiration for better life, bring into play farmers’ initiatives to boost production and build new rural areas, Wen said.
China will seek the steady growth of agricultural products and enable Chinese farmers to share the achievements of the country’s economic development and social progress, Wen said.
He said China would like to work with the international community to promote the world agricultural development, food security and improve farmers’ livelihood.
China, with 1.3 billion people, feeds 21 percent of the world’s population on 9 percent of the world’s arable land and 6 percent of the world’s fresh water, Graziano said, adding the output of many of China’s agricultural products ranked first in the world.
Graziano appreciated the Chinese government’s principle of giving top priority to agriculture, farmers and rural areas, saying he believed China, with reform and innovation, will embrace a better future.
He also hailed China’s efforts to carry out South-South cooperation in agricultural field and help other developing countries improve agricultural production.
An intergovernmental organization, FAO has 191 member nations, two associate members and one member organization, the European Union.