China, the biggest consumer of agricultural commodities, should always be self-sufficient in rice and wheat, as well as other cereals, while maintaining an “appropriate volume” of imports, Han said. The country bought a record volume of meat last month, and increased soybean imports to the second highest ever in a bid to secure supplies.
China tells farmers the nation’s rice bowl Is in their hands
The minister’s opinion piece appears about a week before a review of the phase-one trade deal with the US While China
has committed to honouring the agreement, purchases of farm products during the first half of the year were only about 20% of the 2020 target.
Beijing has pledged to take the most stringent measures to prevent farmland from declining and improve efficiency as it faces challenges from growing shortages of water and labor. Young farmers are increasingly moving to the cities from rural areas. The changing climate has also brought extreme weather, such as flooding, putting years of bumper harvests at risk.
The government plans to enhance seed varieties for better yields, and expand the use of machines in grain production, Han said. Among various measures, China has already given safety approval for domestically developed genetically modified corn, for the first time in 10 years, in a bid to boost food security.