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China boosts Tibet livestock, agriculture spending

April 14, 2009

Reuters India
April 12, 2009

BEIJING (Reuters) -- The Tibetan government plans
to more than double spending on livestock and
other local agricultural products upon which
rural Tibetans depend, state media said on Sunday.

Agriculture only accounts for about 15 percent of
GDP in Tibet, but rural farmers and herdsman
still account for much of the region's ethnic Tibetan population.

Tibetan areas across the plateau erupted in
protests against Chinese rule last March,
following deadly riots in Lhasa. While Han
Chinese and Hui Muslims now outnumber Tibetans in
Lhasa, rural regions are overwhelmingly Tibetan and poor.

China is promoting the settlement of nomads in
Tibet and in ethnically Tibetan regions in neighbouring provinces.

Spending on livestock raising as well as
specialised local herbs and medicinal products
will rise to 820 million yuan ($120 million) this
year, up from 320 million yuan last year, the Xinhua news agency said.

The money will go to setting up bases for
crop-fed dairy herds, yak, cashmere goat, chicken
and pig production, the report said, and will
also promote growing of Tibetan medicinal herbs, oilseeds and green vegetables.

Tibetans traditionally raise yaks or a yak-cow
cross, as well as sheep and goats, and
traditionally grow barley and rapeseed as staple crops.

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