China to stabilize cereal production and ensure food security
An aerial photo shows farmers sowing at a peanut farm in Yangjiatuo Village in Luanzhou City, north China’s Hebei Province, April 18, 2021.
China will continue to promote stable grain production and strengthen its capacity to ensure food security, a meeting of the State Council executive chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Thursday.
Thanks to a succession of bumper harvests in recent years, the country has benefited from an adequate supply of major agricultural products and has ensured basic cereal self-sufficiency and absolute cereal security.
There is a solid foundation for another good harvest this year. Winter wheat area increased for the first time in nearly four years and the crop is in better condition than in previous years.
The summer crops should produce another bumper crop. Spring plowing and planting went smoothly and the area devoted to early-season rice remains stable. The planned cereal area for the whole year will increase further, as the area planted to maize increases from the previous year.
“Stable cereal production and greater capacity to ensure food security have provided a solid foundation for promoting stable economic and social development and responding to the impact of COVID-19. Annual grain production is expected to remain at as much as 650 billion kilograms this year, ”Li mentioned.
Determined efforts will be made to ensure stable and high returns. Policies including minimum purchase prices for rice and wheat and subsidies for corn and soybean producers will remain and be improved. The pilot full-cost insurance and income insurance programs for the three major cereal crops will be expanded to make cereal cultivation profitable for farmers.
The central fiscal investment and the proceeds from the transfer of land use rights to the provincial level will be directed to the main grain producing countries.
Subnational authorities must strictly fulfill their primary responsibility for ensuring food security. They are expected to strengthen the management of agricultural land and summer harvesting and planting, intensify technical services, ensure the provision of agricultural supplies and effectively combat major agricultural pests and disasters. Flood control and drought preparedness must be stepped up in a coordinated manner.
Cereal purchases, reserves and market regulations will be strengthened to ensure supplies and keep prices stable. Grain storage and logistics facilities will be improved, and the scale and composition of grain reserves will be further refined.
“For a country as large as China, adequate grain reserves are essential. The central government should take responsibility in this regard, and sub-national authorities should also play its rightful role,” Li said.
Cultivated land will be better protected and its quality improved. The plan for a new round of high-level agricultural land development will be implemented, and 100 million mu, equivalent to some 6.67 million hectares of high-level agricultural land with high resistance to drought and flooding and high yield stability will be grown this year.
Stricter regulations on the use of arable land will be enforced, to curb non-agricultural activities on agricultural land and strictly regulate non-grain cultivation, and maintain the limit of no less than 120 million hectares of cultivated land.
The basic role of science and technology in agricultural production will be strengthened. In light of national conditions and the needs of the population, science-based and results-oriented efforts will be made to consolidate areas of weakness.
The quality of rice and wheat, the oil content of soybeans will be improved, and quality vegetable varieties will be grown. Unit yield and adaptability of the market for important agricultural products will be enhanced, and milk production per cow and the quality of beef cattle will be improved.
Mechanisms will be improved to fully mobilize market forces and promote innovation collaboration between research institutes and universities and businesses and farmers. A strong commercial breeding system will be put in place and businesses in the seed industry will be nurtured and developed.
Research, development and extensive application of practical and efficient agricultural machinery and equipment will be supported. The quality and efficiency of the agricultural sector will be promoted through technological innovation.
“As urbanization accelerates, it is imperative to increase our capacity to supply grain. We need to take advantage of market-oriented mechanisms, expand supply channels and stimulate micro-circulation for grain supply, to ensure sufficient supply of diverse varieties and maintain stable operation. grain market, ”Li said.