Vegetable production is quite seasonal, especially during March and April when winter and spring vegetables rotate to summer vegetables, and the number and variety of vegetables available on the market decrease and prices rise relatively, which is what we usually refer to the "off-season of spring." Affected by the previous cold wave and low temperatures as well as rising production and distribution costs and other factors, vegetable prices have recently increased in some areas. I believe this is still a seasonal and regular fluctuation.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has set up a special work team to stabilize the yield and guarantee the supply of products in the "vegetable basket." First, we have strengthened monitoring of the production and prices. Second, we have organized experts and agricultural technicians at all levels to provide timely technical guidance to ensure the steady production of vegetables. Third, we have guided localities to select and identify some reserve bases for emergency vegetable supplies, set up hotlines, and strengthen production and marketing coordination to resolve prominent problems and remove the barriers of production.
Under our current arrangements, the planting acreage of winter and spring vegetables nationwide is 85 million mu (about 5.67 million hectares), an increase of 1 million mu compared with previous years. Especially since last November, the average monthly volume of vegetable products for sale on the market has remained more than 54 million tons, up 2% year on year. Fluctuations in weather are relatively large currently. As it gets warmer, vegetable production will gradually enter its peak season. Therefore, based on previous trends, the production capacity and supply of main vegetable varieties can be guaranteed. It is also expected that prices will follow the trends of seasonal fluctuation as defined by regular production years and feature a general downward trend.
Next, we will continue to step up efforts to stabilize yields and guarantee the supply of the vegetables. We will guide localities promptly to coordinate epidemic prevention and control and vegetable production to ensure that vegetables can be produced and supplied as needed. Thank you.