China's subsidies to farmers up amid pay support: OECD

21st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

China's subsidies to farmers grew six-fold to reach $147 billion in 2010, with an increasing amount going to propping up farmers' pay, the OECD said Wednesday.

"The number and scope of programmes providing budgetary support to agriculture has been increasing," said the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"To an increasing extent, they take the form of direct income support payments," added the organisation, which noted that this could help to enhance farmers' pay more effectively.

However, a significant part of the subsidies are still allocated for farming tools such as chemical fertilisers.

"Such payments not only are distortive but also have negative impacts on the environment," warned the organisation in a statement, calling on them to be discontinued.

China is a net food importer, particularly of soybeans.

The share that agriculture contributes to output in China has halved from 20 percent in 1995 to 10.3 percent in 2010.

While China is increasing its support to farmers, among OECD member states, subsidies for producers are falling.

In 2010, support to producers across the bloc reached $227 billion, with the European Union's $101.4 billion making up the bulk.

© 2011 AFP

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