Chinese farmers whose only child is a girl are now allowed to have a second child in the hope that they have a boy, a family planning official said Wednesday.

The policy marks a break from China's usual program of limiting each couple to only one child.Li Yong, a spokesman for the State Birth Control Commission, said China was now permitting peasants "in almost every province" to have a second child if their first was a girl.

Peasants make up 80 percent of China's 1.07 billion people.