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15 July 2015

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Hunan lies between 24 39' - 30 08' N and 108 47' - 114 15' E. It has a humid continental and subtropical monsoon climate. Its annual average temperature lies between 16 C- 18 C, and the annual average precipitation is between 1,200 and 1,700 mm. With sufficient sunshine, plentiful rain, distinct seasons and long frost-free periods, Hunan has incredibly favorable conditions for agricultural production. In Hunan, farmland covers an area of 3,210,000 hectares, hilly highlands 17,060,000 hectares, lakes and rivers 1,360,000 hectares and forests 750 hectares, among which bamboo grooves account for 659,000 hectares and economic forests account for 2,130,000 hectares, including sasanqua, tung oil trees, tea and oranges. The forest reserves cover 3,060,000,000 cubic meters, together with the forest coverage of 52.8% that greatly exceeds the national average, making Hunan an important forest region and the timber base of the south of China. The area of fresh water is almost 1,353,800 hectares and natural water resources total 164.04 billion cubic meters.


Rich in natural resources, Hunan has long been known as the granary of China, a Land of Rice and Fish. With only 3 percent of Chinese farmland, Hunan boasts a high yield of rice, cotton, oranges, pigs, rapeseed plants and aquatic products which accounts for 6 percent, 8 percent, 13 percent, 11 percent, 6 percent and 8 percent of the total respectively. Hunan is not only famous for the quantity of its agricultural products but also for its high-tech achievements in farming. In recent years, agricultural science and technology has contributed to 45 percent of the agricultural growth of Hunan Province. Yuan Longping, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has been working on new generations of super hybrid rice which have made great contributions to world food production.


Hunan enjoys exceptional advantages in developing agriculture. As an old saying goes, when Huguang has a bumper harvest of rice, there will be sufficient food for all the Chinese people. Huguang was a province in the Ming Dynasty and roughly included the area of what is now Hunan and Hubei Provinces. Hunan is rich in natural recourses and its output capacity of staple and sideline products, such as rice, hogs, cotton, oil, tea, aquatic products, bast fibre plants, tobacco and Chinese herbs etc, places it in a leading position in China. Among them the output of rice, ramie, tea oil and tong oil stand first; pigs rank second and tea ranks fourth; the output of oranges, tobacco and fresh water fish is also among the top ten in China. Hunan Province has fifty commodity grain bases, eighteen commodity cotton bases, sixty-five improved pig bases, three oil bases, two sugar and fish bases covering an area of around 300,000 acres.


Among the primary industry of Hunan in 2014, the value added of agriculture hit 202.03 billion yuan, an increase of 4.2 percent over the previous year, while that of forestry, husbandry and fishery was 22.55, 68.24 and 22.06 billion yuan respectively, up by 5.8, 4.7 and 5.6 percent.


Hunan's sown area of grain was 4.975 million hectares, a growth of 0.8 percent compared with that of the previous year; the sown area of cotton was 130 thousand hectares, decreased by 18.5 percent; the sown area of sugar crops was 13 thousand million hectares, a decrease of 6.2 percent; the sown area of oil-bearing crops was 1.425 million hectares, up by 3.0 percent; and the sown area of vegetable was 1.330 million hectare, a rise of 3.6 percent.


The total output of grain in 2014 was 30.013 million tons, up by 2.6 percent than that of the previous year, among which the oil-bearing crops, tea and vegetable rose by 4.3, 10.8 and 4.4 percent respectively, cotton and flue-cured tobacco reduced by 34.8 and 9.4 percent, pork, beef and mutton was up by 6.2 percent, poultry and eggs, milk and aquatic products was up by 2.4, 4.5 and 6.0 percent respectively.


The newly increased farmland effective irrigation area in 2014 reached 20 thousand hectares, up by 11.0 percent, and the newly increased water-saving irrigation area was extended to 14 thousand hectares. 62 thousand water conservancy projects came into operation with an investment of 24.80 billion yuan, 860 million cubic meters of water conservancy earthwork was constructed, and 8283 kilometers rural roads was built.