China has allocated US$15 billion for the country’s farmers in an effort to maintain stable grain output and increase incomes, state media reported. The bulk of the funding, about US$12.6 billion, is to be used for farm machinery equipment, according to a Ministry of Finance statement released on Thursday. The remainder has been allocated for farmers’ subsidies in growing crops such as rice, corn and cotton. The move comes as most northern regions have been plagued by months of drought, which has affected about 4 million hectares of crops and left about 2.2 million people short of drinking water. The ministry aims to deliver the funding to farmers before spring plowing.