CHINA / POLITICS
Chinese president urges greater efforts to ensure grain security, maintain level of farmland
Published: Dec 29, 2020 07:26 PM

File photo: Xinhua


Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed that solving issues related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers is the top priority for the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at the two-day annual central rural work conference which closed in Beijing Tuesday.

Efforts must be made to promote the efficiency and quality of the agricultural sector, make rural areas suitable to live and work in and ensure that farmers are affluent and well-off, Xi told the meeting.

Xi also stressed at the meeting that China should firmly hold in its own hands the initiative of grain security and take the strictest measures to ensure that the country's farmland remains at or above the redline of 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares), according to Xinhua News Agency.

He called for boosting core technological breakthroughs in the agricultural sector in a bid to seek scientific and technological self-reliance, while urging efforts to motivate farmers to plant grains and raise purchase and storage capability. He also called for the resumption of raising pigs.

The central government's special emphasis on national food security does not mean China is facing a food crisis, but is a result of the unstable external political environment and uncertainty over the COVID-19 situation, Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of cngrain.com, a website specializing in grain news, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"As COVID-19 impacts international trade of agricultural products, grain security has been elevated to a new height. China has to focus on its domestic market to ensure grain supply for economic and social development," Jiao said.

He forecast that the country's sown area will expand in 2021, with grain output guaranteed if there were no severe natural disasters.

China made remarkable progress in agricultural development in 2020 despite challenges posed by the global pandemic, plant pests and natural disasters, ensuring a bumper harvest and steady growth in farmers' income.

Meanwhile, the country announced in November that all registered impoverished counties in the world's most populous country have shaken off extreme poverty. Over the past 40-plus years of China's reform and opening-up, more than 700 million people in the country have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global reduction of people living in poverty.

 
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