Despite a difficult first five months of the year, China's grain and wheat production appear to be at their normal levels. Harvest season is underway in central China, bringing smiles to the faces of farmers there. CGTN reporter Xia Ruixue takes us to Henan Province.
A golden harvest once again. Reapers are busy harvesting wheat in central China's Henan province. They started in late May and need to reap all 153 thousand square kilometers of it in just two weeks.
Nothing brings them more joy than to see the loads of grain for local farmers.
LIU JIGUANG Cuizhuang Villager, Henan Province "This year, the output remains 1kg of wheat per square meter. And this number has lasted for 5 years. I'm so happy."
Despite the toll taken by the COVID-19 pandemic, China's Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs says the nation turned in good agricultural totals for the first quarter and it stands a good chance for a bumper grain harvest this year.
RU ZHENGANG Henan Institute of Science and Technology "We've had good harvests in grain for more than 10 years. One reason is because we made scientific breakthroughs to develop new species of wheat to increase output. Another reason is that China keeps developing high-standard farmland. It is drought and flood resistant. It needs less water, fertilizer and pesticide."
Just before harvesting comes to an end in Henan, the local government starts stockpiling the grain. So far, more than 900 million kilograms of wheat have been stockpiled.
Now the wholesale price for wheat is around 2.22 yuan per kilogram on the market. The government offers a minimum of 2.24 yuan per kilogram. It's to boost farmers' income and increase State reserves.
LIU DAGUI Henan Provincial Food and Strategic Reserves Administration "In the past 14 years, grain-of-wheat output keeps more than 35 billion kilograms of wheat a year in Henan province. It provides one fourth of the nation's wheat production. So we say if central China has a good harvest, the whole country will have a sufficient supply."
In China, an old saying goes "people won't panic if they have the grain in hand." Because the country has a sufficient domestic supply of grain that is enough for domestic consumption for one year, it will not suffer a food crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Agriculture says that it will continue to roll out measures ensuring total production of grain to remain at 650 million tons for the year.
XIA RUIXUE Zhengzhou "The covid-19 pandemic has brought huge challenge on global farming, but China's agriculture sector has withstood the test. This summer's wheat harvest brings people more confidence to fight against a pandemic and recover the economy. Xia Ruixue, CGTN, Zhengzhou, Henan Province."