PHOTO / CHINA
China to stabilize grain production, ensure food security
Published: May 07, 2021 01:44 PM
Aerial photo shows farmers sowing at a peanut farm in Yangjiatuo Village of Luanzhou City in north China's Hebei Province, April 18, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Aerial photo shows farmers sowing at a peanut farm in Yangjiatuo Village of Luanzhou City in north China's Hebei Province, April 18, 2021.Photo:Xinhua


 
China will further promote stable grain production and step up its ability to ensure food security, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Thursday.

Thanks to a succession of bumper harvests in recent years, the country has enjoyed ample supply of major agricultural products and ensured basic self-sufficiency in cereal grains and absolute grain security.

There is solid foundation for another good harvest this year. The winter wheat acreage increased for the first time in nearly four years, and the crop is in a better shape than the previous years.

Summer crops are expected to produce yet another bumper harvest. Spring plowing and sowing has progressed smoothly, and the area planted to early-season rice remains stable. The intended acreage of grains for the whole year will further expand, with corn planted area up from the previous year.

"Stable grain production and greater ability to ensure food security have provided a solid underpinning for promoting stable economic and social development and responding to the impact of COVID-19. Annual grain output should remain at no less than 650 billion kilograms this year," Li said.

Determined efforts will be made to ensure stable and high yields. The policies including minimum purchase prices for rice and wheat and subsidies for corn and soybean producers will remain and be improved. The pilot programs of full-cost insurance and income insurance for the three major cereal crops will be extended to make grain growing profitable for farmers.

Central budgetary investment and proceeds from the transfer of land-use rights at provincial level will be tilted towards major grain-producing counties.

Subnational authorities must strictly fulfill their primary responsibility in ensuring food security. They should strengthen farmland management and summer harvest and sowing, scale up technical services, ensure the provision of agricultural supplies and effectively tackle major agricultural pests and disasters. Flood control and drought preparedness need to be strengthened in a coordinated manner.

Grain procurement, reserves and market regulation will be enhanced, to ensure supply and keep prices stable. Grain storage and logistics facilities will be improved, and the scale and mix of grain reserves further refined.

"For a country as big as China, appropriate grain reserves are indispensable. The central government should assume responsibility in this regard, and subnational authorities should also play its due part," Li said.

Cultivated land will be better protected and its quality enhanced. The plan of a new round of high-standard farmland development will be implemented, and 100 million mu, equivalent to some 6.67 million hectares of high-standard farmland with high resilience to drought and flood and high yield stability will be cultivated this year.

More stringent regulation over the use of arable land will be enforced, to curb non-agricultural activities on farmland and strictly regulate non-grain cultivation, and hold the line of no less than 120 million hectares of cultivated land.

The underpinning role of science and technology in agricultural production will be reinforced. In light of the national conditions and people's needs, science-based and result-oriented efforts will be made to shore up the areas of weakness.

The quality of rice and wheat, and oil content of soybean will be improved, and quality vegetable varieties cultivated. The per unit yield and market adaptive capacity of important agricultural products will be boosted, and the milk production per cow and quality of beef cattle enhanced.

Mechanisms will be improved to fully mobilize market forces and promote collaboration on innovation between research institutes and universities and enterprises and farmers. A sound commercial breeding system will be established, and enterprises in seed industry will be nurtured and expanded.

The research, development and extensive application of practical and efficient farming machinery and equipment will be supported. The quality and efficiency in the agricultural sector will be promoted through technological innovation.

"As urbanization picks up speed, it is imperative to increase our grain supply capacity. We must leverage market-oriented mechanisms, broaden supply channels and boost the micro-circulation for grain supply, to ensure sufficient provision of diverse varieties and maintain the stable operation of the grain market," Li said.
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