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Farmers' Income Grows 11.4% in First Nine Months
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The per capita cash income of Chinese farmers hit 2,762 yuan (US$345) in the first nine months of the year, up 11.4 percent year on year, a National Bureau of Statistics spokesman said here on Thursday.

Responding to questions at a press conference, spokesman Li Xiaochao attributed the growth of farmers' income to several factors, including growing earnings of migrant laborers and higher income yielded from farm produce sales.

Revenue growth in secondary and tertiary industries in rural areas and government subsidies to farmers have also given farmers' income a boost, the spokesman said.

"This is really good news," he said. "The central government has always been concerned about increasing farmers' income."

Over the past three years, farmers' per capita income has grown at a double-digit rate, he noted.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the abolition of the agricultural tax on Jan. 1 this year has reduced farmers' per capita annual tax burden by 140 yuan (US$18) compared with 1999.

(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2006)

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