(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- China aims to strengthen grain production and ensure supplies by stepping up efforts to plant more soybean and oil crops, according to a key annual government policy document.
China will support the development of rotational planting of grain and soybean in the northeast and northern Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, as well as develop and use saline-alkali soil to grow soybean, according to the No. 1 central document released yesterday.
The document, released by China's central authorities at the start of each year, is a key indicator of policy priorities for the year ahead.
This year’s statement also said the government will boost subsidies for corn and soybean producers, pilot test soybean full cost insurance and planting income insurance, and promote substitutes to soybean meal as animal feed.
China’s Soybean Revitalization Scheme was introduced with the release of the 2019 No. 1 central document, with domestic output topping 20 million tons for the first time last year, though the country still relies heavily on imports of the legume. China grew less than 15 percent of its soybean needs in 2021, while imports accounted for more than 60 percent of the global total.
China is facing severe external risks and challenges amid a complicated and ever-changing international situation, He Ke, a professor at Huazhong Agricultural University's College of Economics and Management, told Yicai Global.
Domestic production and consumption will be tightly balanced for a long time, so China must always have a sense of crisis about its grain security, which has improved markedly, he noted.
The No. 1 central document guides the work of agriculture, rural areas, and farmers, which are a bedrock of Chinese society. According to this year’s statement, it is essential to improve the three as China's development has entered a period of strategic risks, opportunities, and challenges, with the number of uncertain and unpredictable factors increasing due to big changes happening around the world at an accelerated pace.
Editors: Shi Yi, Martin Kadiev