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Affected farmers at full tilt as floods recede – China News – SINA English

日刊 发表于: 08-24 00:26:29

HEFEI, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — As floodwaters receded, Wang Qiquan had no time to take a rest, but was engaged in plowing and ridging in his croplands to sow cabbage seedlings.

Wang, a farmer in Laoguan Township of Funan County in east China’s Anhui Province, would have started weeding or plucking watermelons if the flood had not happened.

Living in Kanghu, a village along the Huaihe River, he has nearly one hectare of farmland, by which his family was lifted out of poverty in 2016. This year, the paddy field and watermelons were all inundated by floodwater, casting a shadow on his life. Severe floods have affected many places in south and east China this year.

“After planting the seedlings, we’ll harvest the vegetable in two months. That won’t affect the wheat planting in October,” said Zhang Tao, director of the township agricultural comprehensive service center, who was helping Wang replant.

The cabbage seedlings were purchased by the local government from the city of Shouguang in east China’s Shandong Province, a major vegetable production base, and distributed to farmers for free.

“If the market price of the vegetable is lower than 1 yuan (about 14.5 U.S. cents) per kg, the government will make purchases at 1 yuan per kg. If it is higher than the price, we will sell it ourselves,” said Wang.

To reduce the losses caused by the flood, the local agricultural department purchased seedlings of cabbage, sweet potato and other crops from Shouguang, and provided technical guidance and fertilizer subsidies to flood-affected farmers.

With the government’s help, everyone was reassured.

On another field nearby, a dozen villagers were planting sweet potato seedlings. Kang Guoping, a 68-year-old farmer, was using a spade to clear the ditch and drain water. “There is still water in some places, which must be drained, or the seedlings will rot away.”

As the water in his field receded slowly and the land was still humid, local agricultural experts suggested Kang plant sweet potatoes.

According to the agriculture and rural affairs bureau of Funan, floods affected 55,700 hectares of farmlands in the county and caused a total loss of 824 million yuan in agriculture.

After the flood, the local government helped farmers replant crops to ensure autumn harvests. The county government has dispatched more than 200 technical experts to help with restoring agricultural production.

Chinese authorities have stressed agricultural production after natural disasters to reap a bumper autumn harvest this year.