[SHANGHAI] China will step up efforts to increase grain output this year by providing stronger technical guidance and more credit, the state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged local governments to take more measures to help farmers protect farmland and minimise damage from accidents such as fires.
China's state cabinet has already ordered local governments to take up more responsibility to maintain supplies and increase reserves in the world's most populous nation.
Meanwhile, Vice Premier Wang Yang has also asked for more technical guidance, capital supply and water conservation projects to help farmers improve production and cope with challenges such as drought, Xinhua said.
Local governments have long prioritised the expansion of industries in order to boost tax income and have lacked incentives to develop agriculture. Farming accounts for only a small part of local GDP.