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First batch of cotton pickers arrive in Xinjiang   2009-08-21 10:42:00


The first batch of migrant workers has arrived in China's far western Xinjiang to earn extra income in the country's major cotton producing region, when the deadly July 5 riot has subsided.

Xinjiang will need almost a million cotton pickers during the two-month harvest period through November as many cotton fields are in sparsely-populated areas.

The majority of the workers, mostly women, are from Gansu, Qinghai and Ningxia, also in the far west, and China's most populous province of Henan in the central region.

This year Xinjiang grows 1.53 million hectares of cotton and is predicting 2.7 million tonnes of output, about one third of the country's total.

About 1,600 farmers from Henan arrived in their destinations in Xinjiang from late Wednesday to early Thursday.

About 100 trains of workers will arrive in Xinjiang through mid September.

Many cotton growers have a lingering fear for the violence, which left 197 people dead.

"In half a month after the violence, there was a huge shortage of tomato pickers. Many migrant workers didn't dare to come here," said Wang Wei, an official with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. "

source : Xinhua     editor:: Fu Qinghua
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