China’s Xinjiang region reports record grain harvest in 2023

The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has achieved another remarkable grain harvest in 2023, building on the significant production increase witnessed in 2022. This success is largely attributed to the substantial financial support provided to farmers for technological improvements and enhanced productivity.

Recent data from the Xinjiang agriculture and rural affairs department indicated a total grain output of 21.19 million metric tons last year. This figure represents an increase of 3.05 million tons from the previous year, contributing to 34.4 percent of the national increase in grain production.

The region’s grain planting area expanded significantly to 2.82 million hectares in 2023, up by approximately 390,000 hectares compared to 2022. This expansion accounted for 61.4 percent of the national increase in grain planting area, positioning Xinjiang as a leader in this sector nationwide.

Yan Jun, a distinguished grain farmer from Qitai Farm, reported an impressive yield of 13.4 tons per hectare in 2023. This achievement is a testament to Xinjiang’s concerted efforts to upgrade grain planting techniques and increase productivity. The regional government has invested 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) to support high-quality farmland cultivation, efficient irrigation, and the development of new agricultural land.

Advancements in water-saving irrigation and integrated water and fertilizer management have significantly boosted maize and wheat yields in various prefectures. Li Jing, deputy director of the regional government’s agricultural and rural department, highlighted the potential for further increases in crop production due to Xinjiang’s excellent solar and thermal resources.

The addition of 4.95 billion cubic meters of agricultural irrigation water in 2022 and a further 1.06 billion cubic meters in 2023 played a crucial role in these production gains. Xinjiang’s grain crops are noted for their size, nutritional value, and processing quality.

With a comprehensive mechanization rate exceeding 88 percent in agricultural production, Xinjiang stands out in its adoption of advanced agricultural planting techniques. Yi Zhenggui, a contracted farmer from Aksu prefecture, shared his success in achieving substantial profits through efficient land management and scale of operations.

The grain and oil industry is now one of eight key industrial clusters being developed in Xinjiang. With over 7 million hectares of cultivated land, the region is on track to further increase its grain production capacity by 2025, consolidating its position as a significant contributor to the national grain output.

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