China may see increased planting acre of early rice this year, though drought has not been relieved in some areas, said a statement on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture on Saturday.
China is expected to plant 88.5 million Mu (5.87 million hectares) of early rice this year, about 1.6 million Mu more than the previous year, thanks to soaring rice prices and policy incentives, the statement said.
However, drought continues in Hubei province, Poyang Lake areas in Jiangxi province, Dongting Lake areas in Hunan province and Leizhou Peninsular in Guangdong province, the statement said.
The drought has affected about 3 million Mu of paddies in Hubei in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, the statement said.
The statement urged local agricultural departments to help facilitate paddy management, as strong rains were forecast for southern China from Friday to next Tuesday.
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River received about 40 to 60 percent less rain this year than in previous years - this year being the least amount of rain in the past 50 years, said the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.