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 Agricola Medal by the the general director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva, at the Great Hall of the People.
"This is more than a personal honor 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.
Grain central to development
China's grain output has been increasing for nine consecutive years, with this year's output standing at around 150 million tones.
"This has provided a guarantee for China's economic and social development and the improvement of people's lives. It has also contributed to the global food security," said Wen.
The premier attributed the achievements of China's agricultural and rural development to rural reforms, the top priority given to agriculture and the principle of "industry supporting agriculture and cities supporting rural areas."
He added that the achievements would also be impossible without the government's commitment to safeguarding farmers' rights, respecting farmers' aspirations for better life and bringing into play farmers' initiatives to boost production and build new rural areas.
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 also reinforced his country’s commitment to work with the international community to promote global agricultural development, food security and improve farmers’ livelihoods.
Reform leading to better future
China, with 1.3 billion people, feeds 21% of the world's population from 9% of its arable land and 6% of its fresh water, Graziano said, adding that output of many of China's agricultural products ranked first in the world.
The general director said he appreciated the Chinese government's principle of giving top priority to agriculture, farmers and rural areas, adding that he believed China, through reform and innovation, will embrace a better future.
He also hailed China's efforts to carry out South-South cooperation in agricultural and help other developing countries improve their agricultural production.
An intergovernmental body, the FAO has 191 member nations, two associate members and one member organisation, the European Union.