Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported (July 2) the Chengdu Municipal Agriculture and Rural Bureau had issued a document encouraging farmers to stop producing fruit and cultivating gardens and to start producing rice grains instead. They have been promised 3,000 yuan (US$425) per acre in compensation if they switch. Local farmers said that the fruit and garden industries in Chengdu are well developed. The profits are more than several times or even tens of times more than the profit from growing grain. The same request was reported in Hubei province, but the farmers refused to make the change. The fact that the officials made such an advantageous request to the farmers suggests that the country could face grain shortage. One resident from Chongqing city told RFA that China is facing crises and political turmoil. The Central Administration wants to put pressure on the US by stopping the import of American grains, but they are facing a grain reserve shortage at the same time. Chinese people can endure any adversity as long as there is a sufficient food supply, but if that supply can’t be guaranteed, then all the official measures to maintain stability could fail. There have been reports that, in a few state-level grain reserve warehouses, sand was found under the grain. Last month, two local grain warehouse managers committed suicide. RFA said China is facing a severe grain shortage.

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