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August 23, 2012

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Assistance to damaged farms to drop prices

EMERGENCY measures have been taken to repair damage to local vegetable production caused by Typhoon Haikui, which hit Shanghai early this month, the city government said.

Xu Wei, municipal government spokesman, said at a news conference yesterday that local authorities have used methods such as paying farmers to fix damage and boost yields of farms in the city's suburbs.

He said the efforts will take effect very soon. The city's vegetable prices will soon fall back to normal after going up due to damage from Haikui and high temperatures that followed.

Haikui's heavy rains and gales severely damaged the vegetable farms in local suburban districts, causing a reduction in fresh food supplies as well as big losses to farmers.

At least 115,000 vegetable greenhouses were damaged, according to Shanghai Agricultural Commission. The commission estimated that Haikui resulted in direct financial losses of at least 500 million yuan (US$78,740,158) to the agricultural industry. Vegetable prices have risen by 5 to 8 percent in Shanghai recently, according to media reports.

Local authorities are helping farmers repair damaged greenhouses. The government also will spend 6.3 million yuan for farmers to hire workers to fertilize farms to boost supplies quickly, Xu said. Insurers will pay some 60 million yuan from a local government-assisted vegetable insurance program to farmers with damage, Xu said.


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