March 8, 2021
China to raise grain purchase prices, support livestock breeding
China's government said it will raise wheat's minimum purchase prices, expand corn planting areas, and support swine rebuilding and production, while also developing its cattle and sheep sectors, Reuters reported.
The measures outlined by China Premier Li Keqiang and the state economic planning agency in annual reports to parliament come after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in food security concerns.
This year, China increased wheat's minimum price, the first time since 2014, as it looks to focus on food security.
Rising prices for corn have pushed livestock feed mills to use more wheat, tightening wheat supplies.
China's state planner has prioritised increased corn acreage, recognising the land competition for growing corn and soybeans. The state planner said it will support grain production on barren land and stated that soybean production will be stable in 2021, changing past years' trends of large production increases.
China's Ministry of Finance said grain and edible oils stockpiling expenditure will remain the same as 2020 at RMB 122.5 billion (~US$18.92 billion; RMB 1 = US$0.15).
The state planner also said there is a need to continuously rebuild and stabilise China's swine production, as well as develop its cattle and sheep industries.
Li said animal and plant breeding resources need to be secured by 2025, but no targets were given for genetically modified crops' commercialisation.
Tang Renjian, China's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said they are working on a plan to assist its breeding sector close the gap with foreign nations.
The agriculture ministry is also looking to obtain government approval for the construction of a germplasm bank, which holds living tissue to boost genetic diversity of livestock and poultry.
China depends on imported genetic material for its meat chicken, dairy cattle, and beef sectors.
Tang said in September, a new national crop seed bank will completed.