Fujian 'failing to do enough for farmers'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 April, 1996, 12:00am

The Fujian Government was yesterday accused of failing to inject enough resources into the agricultural sector and displaying 'empty figures' in account books.

Huang Shuizhen , a senior legislator from Xiamen, said despite repeated calls made in previous annual government reports, the authorities were still unable to reverse drops in grain production.

Quoting the yet-to-published planning report, he said he did not understand why the Government could state the area of farmland had increased when it had in fact decreased in recent years.

'I don't know much about statistics. But according to my observation, farmland of nearly every place in our province is diminishing. I can't see why we keep on showing empty figures, instead of solve our problems in earnest,' Mr Huang, former head of Tongan county, said at a panel discussion with other congress delegates.

Many county and town leaders were said to have ignored the calls to make more efforts in supporting the farming sector but used almost all resources in developing industries and infrastructure projects.

The Governor of Fujian, Chen Mingyi , had urged at the provincial People's Congress that more financial support should be made to boost grain production.

But Mr Huang said: 'It's useless to state a goal without any efforts to reach it. We have heard similar calls for years but no major breakthroughs are visible so far.' Regional protectionism has hindered many projects aimed at improving irrigation and transportation systems for farmers.

The legislator urged all financial officials to eradicate the practice of delaying payments for the farming sector.

'Our province now has to buy grain from other provinces or foreign countries. It's already a warning sign. We should do something or our people will have not enough to eat in the coming years.'