Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai, speaking at a national agriculture work conference on Dec. 27, 2008, proclaimed that Chinese agriculture continued its stable development this year despite the challenging situation, achieving several years of breakthroughs.
Grain output and yields have both increased five consecutive years, both reaching record highs. Grain production for 2008 is estimated at 528.5 million metric tons, an increase of 5.4%. Yield was estimated to increase 4.2%. Rural household income also saw a relatively good increase of about 8%, also a fifth-straight increase. Oilseeds production also recovered, reversing 8 straight years of falling self-sufficiency rates. There was a rapid recovery of hog production, livestock and aquaculture production continued stable development, and "vegetable basket" supplies were plentiful. Hog inventories were estimated at 470 million head for 2008, a 7.4% increase, and hog slaughter was estimated at 600 million, up 6%. There was steady improvement in the safety and quality of ag products.
Five years in a row of increasing grain harvests...this run of good weather, etc., can't go on forever.