Beijing city eyes for 'seeds capital' to ensure food security
Published: Apr 13, 2022 03:14 PM
Soybeans are harvested in Heilongjiang province. File photo: Xinhua

Soybeans are harvested in Heilongjiang province. File photo: Xinhua

The Beijing municipal government has announced on Wednesday its plan for revitalizing the local seed industry with modern agricultural technologies, ranging from cattle breeding to vegetable planting, as part of its latest efforts to strengthen grain production and supply.

This move came as Beijing takes the initiative in realizing the modernization of agriculture and rural areas, making concrete actions to pave the way for the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress, according to the plan.

Against the backdrop of rising global uncertainty, food safety has been on the top of the national strategy with the central and local governments beefing up efforts to strengthen the regional agricultural development in securing grain production and reduce the risks associated with a heavy reliance on grain imports.

The latest notice by the Beijing government highlighted the target to turning the city into a true "seed capital". As part of the annual target for 2022, the sowing area for grain is set to reach 1 million mu (66,667 hectares), of which the sown area of soybean will reach 42,000 mu.

The city will stabilize the amount of vegetable growing land cultivated all year round, with total area for vegetable sowing to reach 750,000 mu and output to reach 1.8 million tons, while the self-sufficiency rate is expected to amount to more than 16 percent, according to the plan.

To achieve the targets, Beijing will focus on the development of seed industries and build a national-level corn-seeds innovation center.

The cultivating, breeding and protection of some local cattle species such as Beijing ducks and pigs are also included in the plan, and several demonstration zones will be built to facilitate the project.

Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of told the Global Times on Wednesday that China has always focused on the protection and development of seeds, a key content of agriculture.

"While the nation has put forward the agricultural development in this sector and the Chinese agricultural market has been huge, there has been a substantial amount of seeds relying on imports from abroad," Jiao said.

With the global landscape becoming increasingly complex, the latest efforts by the Beijing government to address food supply security while managing the potential risks of heavy reliance on food imports, experts said.