China: Agriculture minister says summer grain challenge to be met

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07 March 2021, China: China will ramp up efforts to secure grain harvests despite poor summer grain growth as a result of flooding during the sowing season last fall, Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said during an interview at the ongoing session of the 13th National People’s Congress on March 5. 

A third of the country’s wheat-growing areas were planted about 15 days late due to floods in five provinces, posing challenges to this year’s harvest, he said. 

Though China’s grain supply and demand remains tightly balanced, total output is abundant, with per capita food availability increasing nine kilograms to 483kg this year. 

“Whatever changes take place globally, we are capable of ensuring that more than 1.4 billion citizens have enough food to eat. Our rice bowls will be held more firmly in our own hands, and will be filled with better, healthier food,” Tang said, adding that multiple measures have been outlined by the central government to be taken to ensure food security. 

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Farmers are encouraged to work harder to bring in the harvest with China raising the minimum purchase price for rice and wheat, while the production of three staple food will be included in agricultural insurance in 820 major agricultural counties nationwide. 

Given the rising price of resources like fertilizers and pesticides, China will continue to subsidize farmers to help save costs. 

Technical guidance to be provided will focus on three key growing periods in order to recover production. 

Stable planting areas and better soil conditions thanks to recent snow and rainfall have helped alleviated potential loss, Tang said. 

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