China has lifted the minimum state procurement prices for semilate and late rice to protect farmers\' interests, the top economic planner said Saturday. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told Xinhua that it has set the minimum procurement price for this year\'s indica rice at 2,700 yuan (435.62 U.S. dollars) per tonne, up from 2,500 yuan per tonne last year. The minimum price for semilate and late japonica rice was set at 3,000 yuan per tonne, up from 2,800 yuan for 2012, the NDRC said. The policy will be applied in China\'s 11 major rice-producing provinces and regions, including provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Sichuan, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. China has set minimum procurement prices for grain, including wheat and rice, since 2004. Under the scheme, the government buys grain from farmers at state-set prices when market prices fall below them.