Agriculture and Industry
The total agricultural output value of Hubei constantly ranks in front in China. Hubei is a major commodity base for agri- cultural products. The output of grain, cotton, rapeseed, fresh- water products, etc. rank in front in China.
Two harvests every year constitute the major cropping system. As far as the agricultural species are concerned, wheat, corn, soybeans, potatoes, cotton in the north; rice, tea, silk- worm cocoons, medicinal materials in the south, and the sub- tropical fruits all grow in Hubei.
The key producing areas of grain, cotton and oil are distrib- uted over the Jianghan Plain and the rugged hills and mounds areas in central-north Hubei. The Jianghan Plain, located in the central-south of Hubei, is an important producing area of grain, cotton and oil as well as a freshwater cultivation base in China. It has been called "a land of rice and fish", and won a good name in history, "If Hubei and Hunan harvest, the whole country will have enough for living."
Animal husbandry and aquatic product cultivation are the: superior industries of Hubei's agriculture. The total output of meat, the quantity and quality of poultry and eggs rank in front in the country. Hubei is richin aquatic products, among which river crabs, tortoises and soft-shelled turtles, freshwater shrimps, whitebaits, etc sell well at home and abroad. Hubei has a well-developed market distribut- ing system. The wholesale markets at the producing area and the wholesale markets at the selling area are scattered all over the province, which connects millions of small domestic productions with large, changeable markets. People's "shopping baskets" are full of various products such as fruits, vegetables, livestock and poultry. The export of farm produce has a long history. Rice, live pigs, raw silk, raw lacquer, edible fungus, etc. are the staple for- eign exchange-earning farm produce.
There are some brands of farm produce with distinctive features, for example, Tianyi of Jingzhou, Yinxin of Jianli, Huiyuan of Yichang, and Lotus Lake of Wuhan. The special producing areas for superior rice，superior specially-used wheat, double-low rape and some cash crops have been formed. The township enterprises have been developing rapidly, and the increasing value of which accounts for more than one forth of the whole province's GDP. The township enterprises have be- come the new spots that not only bring more money to farmers but also fuel the province's economic growth.
The agriculture of Hubei is susceptible to natural disasters. The weather changes dramatically all over the province. The annual rainfall varies greatly and distributes unevenly in time and space, which often results in flood, water logging and drought. Thus，Hubei's agriculture bears a fight-natural-calamity feature. In re- cent years, with the booming of water conservancy works, the new systems which can store, discharge, irrigate and drain have been built. They have changed, in the history of Hubei, the frequent disaster-stricken situation, "Two droughts within three years, nine floods within ten years" as the saying goes.
Hubei is one of the important industrial bases in China. The complete and large industrial system with automobiles, metallurgy, machinery, energy, light textile, chemical engineering, building materials, etc. as the pil- lars have been established. In the meantime, based on the powerful strength of science and technology, and with photo-electronic information, biological technology, new medicines, new materials as the prin- cipal part, the new and hi-tech industry has also sprung up. A large number of hi-tech enterprises and excellent products with famous brands have emerged.
As one of the important bases of automobile industry in China, the automobile industry of Hubei has been de- veloping rapidly. Dongfeng Automobile Company is one of the largest automobile manufacturing enterprises in China. It is a modern automobile manufacturing enter- prise that was established by China's own designing, building and installing. At present, three large automo- bile developing and producing bases, namely, Shiyan, Xiangfan and Wuhan, have been set up. Dongfeng Automobile Company has been consecutively listed in the top ten among the nationwide 500 strong enterprises. Cetron Automo- bile Company Ltd, a joint venture with France, is a key project of the nation's "Eighth Five-Year Plan", which mainly produces the cars with such brands as Cetron series, Dongfeng-Cetron, and Sara Picasso, etc.
Hubei is an important iron and steal base in China. The key enterprises include Wuhan Iron and Steel Complex, Daye Special Steel Company, E Steel Company, etc. Wuhan Iron and Steel Complex is the first mega iron and steel complex invested and built by the State after the founding of the People's Republic of China, with a comprehensive producing ability of above 8 million tons of steel and iron respectively. The steel output ranks twenty-fifth among the world's steel companies. It is an important producing base of steel slab.
Hubei is also one of the three largest ship building bases in China. Wuchang Shipyard is a key ship- building enterprise in Hubei.
Jianghan Oil Field, a large oil field in south China, and some large petrochemical complexes such as Hubei Double Ring, Wuhan Petrochemical Complex, Jingmen Petrochemical Complex, etc. are located in Hubei.
The light textile industry of Hubei sticks to the leading position of clothes. With the promotion of the coordinated production of spinning and weaving, printing and dyeing, and superior cloth, a group of Wuhan style clothes such as Mei' erya, Kangsai, Duojia, Taihe, Bingchuan, Maiya have been in the fashion.
The hi-tech industry has formed the leading industrial belt with the four main industries, namely, electronic information, biological technology, new medicines and new materials, optical-mechanical-electrical integration at the core. The famous new and hi-tech enterprises include Changfei Optical Fibre, Fenghuo Telecommunications, Huagong Laser, Anqi Yeast, Bafeng Pharmaceutic, etc. At present, the output value accomplished by the photo-electronic industry represented by the optical communication has amounted to about 70% of that of the whole province's electronic information industry. The photo-electronic industry has become an important pushing force for the economic development. "Wuhan ~ China Optical Valley" is a state-level photo-electronic industry base approved by the State Planning Commission in 2001. Wuhan East Lake new and hi-tech industry enjoys many advantages: there are 6 state engineering technology research centers, 4 key state laboratories, 19 universities, 38 scientific and research institutes, 10 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering in the field of photo-electronic information technology. Based on the above-mentioned advantages, 5 key superior industries, namely, optical fiber, photo-electric devices, laser, communication systems, software have been established.