In this May 21, 2019 photo, farmers check the growth of wheat in a field in Shibali Township of Qiaocheng district in Bozhou, east China's Anhui province. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING - China has seen another year with a bumper grain harvest despite the impact of extreme weather and COVID-19, official data showed on Monday.
The country's grain output totaled about 686.53 billion kg this year, up 0.5 percent or 3.68 billion kg compared to 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
This is the eighth consecutive year for China to register a grain harvest of over 650 billion kg.
In 2022, China went through its hottest summer since 1961 when it started to keep complete meteorological records. The lingering high temperatures exerted pressure on the harvesting of autumn grain - the lion's share of China's grain output
In breakdown, the country's wheat and corn output rose 0.6 percent and 1.7 percent year on year, respectively. Rice production shrank by 2 percent compared to 2021.
The harvest this year was not easily achieved. The rainy autumn in north China last year had postponed the planting of winter wheat, while extreme hot weather this year hit many southern regions.
In 2022, China went through its hottest summer since 1961 when it started to keep complete meteorological records. The lingering high temperatures exerted pressure on the harvesting of autumn grain - the lion's share of China's grain output.
To galvanize farmers to grow grain, the central government continued to raise the minimum purchase price of wheat and rice, and maintained grain subsidy policies in 2022.
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Farmers harvest rice at a high-standard farmland in Shuangfeng, Hunan province, on Sept 14, 2022. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Thanks to combined efforts, the extent of the area sown with grain in the country reached 118.33 million hectares in 2022, an increase of 0.6 percent over the previous year.
This year's soybean acreage exceeded 10 million hectares, the highest in more than 60 years.
Thanks to combined efforts, the extent of the area sown with grain in the country reached 118.33 million hectares in 2022, an increase of 0.6 percent over the previous year
The central government also allocated emergency funds for agricultural production and water conservancy relief to help local governments with agricultural production.
Sophisticated field management combined with the contribution of the country's vast high-standard farmland, meant that grain losses due to natural disasters were effectively reduced, allowing China to achieve a bumper 2022 harvest.
Of the 31 provincial-level regions, 23 have seen increased grain output, while the country's grain yield per unit area edged down 0.1 percent year on year, NBS data showed.
"The grain harvest this year has helped to keep overall economic stability and major economic indicators running within a reasonable range," said Wang Guirong, a senior NBS official.
READ MORE: China strives to ensure grain security amid global risks
China's arable land only accounts for less than 9 percent of the world's total, but it manages to feed about one fifth of the world's population.
"China's grain harvest has made positive contributions to stabilizing the global food market and food security," Wang added.
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