Poor storage causes grain losses

Updated: 2012-07-04 08:15

(China Daily)

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Poor storage causes grain losses

An agriculture official said on Tuesday that China loses about 25 million metric tons of grain every year due to improper storage.

That is equivalent to about the annual wheat production of Australia, one of the world's major cereal exporters, according to Zhang Tianzuo, director of the farm produce processing bureau with the Ministry of Agriculture. He cited a loss ratio between 8 and 12 percent at an agricultural forum held in Beijing.

Also, the country loses more than 20 percent of the vegetables it produces every year, Zhang said.

He attributed the heavy losses in grain to substandard processing facilities and old technologies farmers and agricultural associations use in preliminary processing.

China's grain output hit a record high of 571.21 million tons in 2011, marking eight consecutive years of growth.

Rains a welcome relief for drought

China's drought relief authority said on Tuesday that recent rain has helped relieve a drought plaguing areas along the Huaihe River for several weeks.

Heavy rain has been falling on Henan, Anhui, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces since Friday, with accumulated precipitation reaching 37 mm. It has done much to relieve the lingering drought, according to a statement from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

As of Tuesday, 240,000 people in the four provinces were short of drinking water, down from 600,000 people at the end of last month.

The country's meteorological authority forecast that another round of rain will hit areas along the Huaihe River from Monday to Wednesday, but the water level on its trunk stream will remain low, the statement said.

Publishing houses get financial boost

Chinese publishing houses are to receive at least 20 billion yuan ($3.17 billion) in loans over the next five years to support their overseas projects.

The Export-Import Bank of China signed an agreement with the General Administration of Press and Publication on Tuesday to provide financial support for publishers' attempts to explore international markets, according to a GAPP statement.

The GAPP will recommend a list of eligible companies for the loans and they will be shortlisted by an expert panel before being submitted to the bank for examination, the statement said, without elaborating on the number of firms that might get the loans.

In January, the GAPP promised to work out favorable policies for domestic publishers to enter overseas markets.

All turbines turning at Three Gorges

All 32 generators of China's Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower project, went into operation on Monday evening as flood season arrived.

It is the first time all 32 generators - including the last turbine, which passed a trial operation in May - have started up at the same time, said Zhang Chengping, head of the machinery and electronic engineering bureau of the China Three Gorges Corporation.

The outbound flow rose to 34,000 cubic meters per second on Monday evening due to floodwaters from the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and was sufficient for the operation of the 32 generators, which have a full load of 700,000 kW each, he said.

The 32 generators of the Three Gorges project, which was launched in 1993, have a combined generating capacity of 22.4 million kW.


Industrial accident leaves six dead

Six people were killed when slag water leaked in an industrial plant generating an excessive amount of steam in North China's Hebei province on Tuesday morning, local authorities said.

The accident occurred at 7:12 am at the Xiaojue plant of Shijiazhuang Sanhuan Smelting in Pingshan county, triggering a large amount of steam that the workers were forced to breathe, killing two workers at the scene, the county government said.

Another four workers died in a hospital.

The legal representative of the plant has been detained, officials said.

Investigators are probing the accident.


Man detained in deaths of relatives

A man suspected of killing five relatives on Monday night has been detained, Shanghai police said on Tuesday.

The man, surnamed Yuan, is suspected of killing his wife and two other couples in three different locations in Shanghai's Minhang district Monday night, police said. The two other couples were also relatives of Yuan.

Some neighbors said they heard Yuan and his wife arguing before the tragedy.

Yuan worked in Shanghai after leaving his hometown in neighboring Jiangsu province, police said.

The case is under investigation.


Discharge killsfish in river

Local authorities on Tuesday blamed enterprises along the Bahe River for discharging sewage that killed a huge number of fish in Northwest China's Shaanxi province in the past few days.

As rain poured on Xi'an, the provincial capital, on Friday, some small enterprises discharged untreated waste into the river, attempting to take advantage of its rising water levels to evade sewage discharge monitoring, according to the Xi'an water bureau.

Local residents have reported dead fish and unusually high concentrations of algae in the Bahe River, as well as a stench emanating from the waterway, since last week.

According to preliminary investigation, about 30,000 kg of fish have died in the river due to sewage discharged by some small enterprises.

Local environmental departments are still testing the sewage, and the investigation is under way.


Bridge fosters cultural knowledge

The 11th Chinese Bridge contest opened on Monday evening in Central China's Hunan province. The contest aims to encourage young people from across the world to study Chinese and strengthen their understanding of Chinese language and culture.

With the theme of "My Chinese Dream", 117 college students from 70 countries will showcase their Chinese language capacities, knowledge of Chinese culture and talent during the competition that will run for more than 20 days in Changsha, capital of Hunan.

The contest, sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, has been held annually since 2002.

Xinhua - China Daily