March 5, 2020 / 8:13 AM / a month ago

China can reach this year's grain targets despite coronavirus outbreak - ministry

BEIJING (Reuters) - China can reach this year’s grain targets despite the coronavirus outbreak, the director of planting administration at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Pan Wenbo, told reporters on Thursday.

Pan added that spring planting will be an important key performance indicator for local government officials.

Blocked roads have been the main obstacle for spring planting, the director of the seed management bureau at the ministry, Zhang Yanqiu, said.

He added that Hubei had seen the most severe problems due to virus-related lockdowns. “If we can solve Hubei’s problem, the country’s problem will be solved.”

(Corrects to say grain targets and not planting targets in headline and lede, and add dropped article ‘the’ in lede)

Reporting by Tian Lun Yew, Dominique Patton, Writing by Shivani Singh; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Peter Graff

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