November 14, 2011
China seeks balance between industrialisation and food safety in new economic zone
China is seeking to achieve a balance between industrialisation and food safety in the Central China Economic Zone, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The Central China Economic Zone, centred in the province of Henan and radiating to its adjacent areas, is a test field for balanced development of industrialisation, urbanisation and agricultural modernisation without hurting food safety and environment, Du Ying, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.
The key is to secure food safety, a top priority for China as the most populous developing country, Du said.
Many parts in the country have been stuck in two sorts of dilemmas. Some regions with burgeoning economic growth, are seeing shrinking grain production. Other parts, though are still substantial grain producers, have been developing too slow, he added.
"Both situations are not what we expect to see. The country has entered a crucial stage of accelerating industrialisation and urbanisation, while uncertainties shroud food safety. Under this circumstance, how to achieve a balanced development in key agricultural provinces such as Henan will determine the outcome of China's modernisation progress," Du said.
The central government will implement measures to ensure food safety in the economic zone by increasing fiscal transfer payments to Henan, strengthening financial support to farmers, facilitating agricultural infrastructure construction and boosting closer ties between grain producers and consumers, he said.
On October 7, the State Council, or Cabinet, issued a guideline on building Henan, which lies in the middle of the country, into a Central China Economic Zone.
The most populated province in the country produces 10% of China's grain, with wheat output accounting for a quarter of the country's total.