EYEAFRICA TV: Beijing, China: The first assessment of the “Mayor’s Responsibility System” for the “Vegetable Basket Project” has been basically completed, officials of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs told a press conference in Beijing on Monday.
China introduced the Vegetable Basket Project in 1988 to ensure the provision of non-staple foods to residents. To carry out the project in each region, the central government created the Mayor’s Responsibility System, which assigned the responsibility to a deputy mayor.
In 2017, the General Office of the State Council issued the measures for assessing the Mayor’s Responsibility System in five major aspects: production, market circulation, quality and safety supervision, control and guarantee, and customers’ satisfaction with such products falling within the scope of the Vegetable Basket Project. The assessment is conducted once every two years, and the year 2019 is the first assessment.
“Our supervising data showed that the overall qualification rate of inspected products under the Vegetable Basket Project passes 97 percent. In 2018, the overall price of such products increased by less than five percent. Third-party surveys and evaluations showed that people are relatively satisfied with the supply quantity, categories and purchasing convenience, among others, of these products,” said Yu Kangzhen, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Since the implementation of the assessment measures, non-staple foods in 36 Chinese large and medium-sized cities have greatly improved in terms of quality and safety, market circulation and supply, among others. The latest data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed that in 2018, the total planting area and total output of vegetables in these cities increased by 3.2 percent and 2.5 percent respectively from the average level of the year 2015-2017. Also each of these cities strengthened the distribution of meat products to ensure meat supply in 2018.
“In the future, we will pay close attention to the supply of non-staple foods during the New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival, the ‘Two Sessions’ and other important periods. We will also make good use of the assessment measures to urge large and medium-sized cities to carry out the Vegetable Basket Project effectively, increase the supply of pork and other non-staple products, and implement the Mayor’s Responsibility System faithfully,” added Yu.