FAMILY-planning authorities have been ordered to step up their work as problems have emerged in attempts to suppress the birth rate. Speaking at a central conference in Beijing yesterday, President Jiang Zemin said many farmers still defied the state policy and had more than one child. He also warned against a possible rise in the birth rate among the migrant population. Authorities at all levels should take note of the problem and strengthen their work in implementing the one-child policy, Mr Jiang told the conference. He said the authorities should not be blindly optimistic about their job although they had achieved good results in the past. 'Because the base of our population is large, there is still a gap between the wishes of peasants in having babies and the family-planning policy,' Mr Jiang said. Mr Jiang said birth control was important to help achieve the goal of boosting the national per-capita output by the end of the century to four times that of 1980. 'To be responsible to the people, as well as our descendants, we must resolutely carry out the state family-planning policy,' he said. Mr Jiang told local authorities to increase funding for birth-control work and step up their promotion of the policy. Premier Li Peng said leading officials should personally take charge of the work and ensure that the matter was stressed. The leaders said the country's economic development could be adversely affected if the population was allowed to run out of control.