November 14, 2008


China to keep grain output capacity above 500 million tonnes by 2010


China aims to stabilise its annual grain output capacity at above 500 million metric tonnes by 2010 to meet 95 percent of its domestic demand, according to mid- to long-term grain security guidelines issued by the State Council.


The country is also targeting to improve its grain output capacity to above 540 million tonnes by 2020 to satisfy expected domestic consumption of 572.5 million tonnes, according to the guidelines, which were published on the government's Web site Friday (November 14).


China's grain supply and demand will be in a tight balance in the long run, challenging the world's most populous country's grain security, said the guidelines.


The country's consumption of edible oil is expected to increase to 29 million tonnes by 2020 from 24.10 million tonnes in 2010, it said.


To achieve the grain output capacity targets, China will increase its grain unit yield to 5.25 tonnes per hectare by 2020 from 4.88 tonnes per hectare in 2010, it said.


It will also increase the unit yield of oilseeds by 6 percent by 2010 from that in 2006, said the guidelines.


Subsidies to grain farmers will be increased substantially each year, and rural insurance policies, such as the grain risk fund policy, will be improved, it said.


China will keep its arable land at above 120 million hectares by 2020, of which 84 million hectares will be for cereals and 12 million hectares for oilseeds, it said.


Other measures, such as increasing investment in rural infrastructure construction, increasing water efficiency and cultivating new types of seeds to improve unit yields will be applied to boost output capacity, according to the guidelines.


China will also encourage domestic enterprises to go abroad and grow oilseeds, grains, vegetables and fruits in places where appropriate, it said.


The increased grain consumption will be due to rising demand from the feedmeal sector, while grain consumption as food will be falling as consumers eat more meat and industrial consumption will be stable, said the guidelines.


With the country's industrialization, room for grain acreage expansion will be very limited, and the land competition between grain and cash crops will be lasting, threatening grain security, it said.


Global warming and tightening international grain supply add to the pressure, it said.


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