January 26, 2024


China expands arable land for soybean cultivation to boost food security


In a significant move toward enhancing food security and reducing reliance on global grain imports, China announced substantial progress in expanding the cultivation of arable land for soybeans and oil crops, including rapeseed, China Daily reported.


Deng Xiaogang, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, announced this during a news conference held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing.


According to Deng, soybean plantation areas reached 10.4 million hectares in the previous year, resulting in a record yield of 208,400 metric tonnes. The total planting area for oil crops exceeded 13.3 million hectares. Soybeans, a crucial raw material for animal feed, saw increased emphasis as authorities encouraged farmers to intercrop or rotate soybeans with corn to bolster the overall supply.


As part of the initiative, China granted approval for the commercial production of domestically developed genetically modified soybean varieties on the mainland after a successful three-year trial. Despite challenges posed by heavy rains, floods, and droughts in various regions, China achieved an overall grain output of over 650 million tonnes in 2023, marking the ninth consecutive year of surpassing this milestone.


Deng said that advancements in technology and equipment have provided robust support to China's food production. The conversion of extensive grain fields into high-quality farmland capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions, coupled with the adoption of machinery for harvesting, reflects the nation's commitment to modernising and securing its food supply.


-        China Daily

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