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Chinese farmers' income grows four percent annually: vice agriculture minister (11/06/03)

 Chinese farmers' income has been growing by an annual average of four percent in recent years, according to Zhang Baowen, vice minister of agriculture.
   Zhang was attending an agricultural forum of the 10th China Yangling Expo on Agricultural High-Tech Products, that opened on Nov.5 in Yangling agricultural high-tech zone in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
   According to Zhang, farmers' per capita net income in 2002 was 2,475.6 yuan (298 US dollars), or 4.3 times that of 1978, when China started its opening up and reform drive.
   The poor population in rural areas reduced from 250 million in 1978 to 28.2 million now, according to the vice minister.
   Zhang said farmers' per capita cash income reached 1,802 yuan (217 US dollars) in the first three quarters of this year, up 3.8 percent from the same period last year.
   He predicted that farmers' income will increase by four percent in 2003.

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