Friday, August 30, 2013

Highland barley is a major food crop in Tibet

Tibet, located in the Southwest border of China, is situated in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau—the world's highest, with altitudes over 3,000 meters. The high altitude and low temperature mean crops such as highland barley; Wheat and oilseed can be cultivated only once a year and then only in those parts of Tibet that is suitable. This gives Tibet the lowest grain output among all of China's provinces. To meet grain demand, Tibet imports from other parts of China over 200,000 tonnes of grains such as rice.

Aiming to increase grain output and ensure food security, Tibet government has been enhancing highland barley planting in recent few years. For example, in 2012 USD4.85 million (RMB30 million) of investment has been made in the construction of high-quality highland barley bases in 10 big agricultural counties of five cities. Besides, farmers' enthusiasm for planting and selling grains is also promoted by the direct grain subsidies and higher purchase price of highland barley. Moreover, Tibet government intends to accelerate the breeding, approval, demonstration and promotion process of new highland barley varieties, striving to update the major varieties once every 10 years.

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