China to stabilize grain production and boost oilseed harvest, Minister says


BEIJING, Dec.27 (Reuters) – China will stabilize corn production and increase soybean production in the new year to ensure grain security, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily said on Monday citing the Minister of Agriculture.

“Ensuring the security of supply of grain and important agricultural and secondary products is always our main task and our main priority,” Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Tang Renjian said in an interview with People’s Daily.

“The departments of agriculture and rural affairs must devote all their efforts to grain production, with the attitude of fighting a desperate struggle, and with extraordinary and super strength.”

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Tang’s comments come amid continued concern over food security in the world’s most populous country as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt food supply chains and logistics across the globe .

China’s soybean production this year fell sharply from last year, while corn production increased as farmers sought to take advantage of better profitability. Read more

Tang called for the abandoned land to be cultivated while maximizing the potential of intercropping to ensure a stable grain area in 2022, the People’s Daily reported.

The minister’s messages followed the two-day central annual conference on rural labor held over the weekend, in which China’s central leadership presented similar guidelines on stable grain production and the expansion of oilseeds, according to a state media report Sunday night.

Beijing is committed to preserving grain security and ensuring an efficient supply of livestock, fish products and vegetables in 2022, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing comments made at the conference.

“Ensuring the supply of primary products is a major strategic issue,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said ahead of the conference.

President Xi also called for protecting agricultural land and safeguarding the acreage and grain production in the main production and consumption areas, Xinhua reported.

The supply and prices of agricultural materials must be guaranteed, Premier Li Keqiang said at a meeting of the State Council or cabinet, according to the same Xinhua report.

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Reporting by Hallie Gu and Emily Chow Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and David Goodman

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