February 23, 2021
China to boost grain yields and safeguard swine production to boost food security
China aims to increase grain yields, improve support for its domestic seed industry, and safeguard domestic swine production to boost food security following the COVID-19 pandemic, based on a recently published key policy document, Reuters reported.
The document, called the "No. 1 document", will strongly emphasise food security compared to past years, urging all China's provinces to boost grain yields for the 2021-2025 period.
China will stabilise soybean production and develop edible oilseed crops especially with tighter global supplies of edible oils. It will also aim to diversify its imports of agricultural products.
The document also called for the construction of a modern animal farming system and safeguarding swine production.
Tang Renjian, agriculture minister, said China's swine herd is on track to recover to 2017 levels by June this year, but needs to find ways to make the herd more stable and stop farmers from slaughtering sows when prices drop.
The document pushed for priority towards the seed sector, calling for quicker implementation of major scientific projects related to breeding. The document urged the "industrial application of biological breeding" such as the research into genetically modified crops.
The document also urged for tougher intellectual property rights protection in breeding and support for China's top seed companies to create commercial breeding systems.
Leading seed companies such as including Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co, Shandong Denghai Seed and Winall Hi-tech Seed Co saw shares 4% up on February 22.
China is looking to boost its food security after the COVID-19 pandemic affected major food exporting nations in 2020, and elevated concerns about stability of food supplies.
The document was published by the State Council, China's cabinet.