February 24, 2022
China to boost soybean production
Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, said the country aims to plant soybeans on every possible patch of land possible in 2022, as it looks to lessen its dependence on imports, Reuters reported.
The minister announced this plan after the government drew new measures to boost soybean production as it seeks to boost food security in a key rural policy document.
In the "No.1 document" policy statement, the State council dedicated a section to boosting soybean and oilseed production through measures such as increasing subsidies for land rotation programmes and providing rewards for counties that produce large volumes of edible oils.
China is self-sufficient in staples but has been affected by a pork shortage and tight corn supplies in the past few years.
Soybean imports have declined, which has resulted in the government releasing reserves.
China, the biggest soybean importer in the world, saw a drop in its small domestic crop in 2021 as farmers turned to corn.
China is also developing new soybean varieties for alkaline soils and experimenting with intercropping soybeans and corn.
Darin Friedrichs, co-founder of Shanghai-based consultancy Sitonia Consulting, said the measures are unlikely to make an impact, with possibly only half a million tonnes or a million tonnes more in production.
He said famers are unlikely to switch to soybeans as corn prices remain high.
China also said it wants to push beef, mutton and dairy production. The State Council also called for the acceleration of the development of indoor agriculture such as greenhouses and promotion of advanced equipment and technology