China vowed to strengthen farmland protection on Monday [23 January 2017] as urbanization increased pressure on grain supplies. Efforts must be made to stabilize farmland area and improve its quality to ensure grain self-sufficiency and food security, according to a document released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council…Full Article: Xinhua Jan 2017

Key Points

  • By 2020, China hopes to have at least 124.33 million hectares of arable land. This would include a mixture of 103.1 million ha of permanent farmland and 53.3 million ha of ‘high-quality’ farmland.
  • In 2015, China had 133.3 million of arable land. China has a stated policy of having at least 120 million ha of arable land.

ChinaAg Comments

  • By 2020, according to China’s Minister of Agriculture, the country’s demand for grains will reach 700 million MTs. In general, the country has the stated goal of cultivating at least 120 million hectares of farmland (~106 million ha must be grains). At the same time, China’s wheat production is expected to reach 131.9 million MTs on a cultivation area totaling 24.02 million hectares. The country’s total wheat consumption is also expected to reach 126.3 million MTs.
  • In 2016, China’s grain output decreased to 616 million MTs. From 2015 to 2016, China’s grain cultivation declined by 315,000 ha while its overall yield dropped by 30.7 kg per ha (0.03 MT per ha).
  • In December 2016, China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced they were considering establishing agricultural function zones in northeastern China (i.e. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia) for soybeans, Xinjiang Region for cotton, Yangtze River basin for rapeseed/canola, well as Guangxi Region and Yunnan Province for sugarcane.
  • In April 2016, China’s State Administration of Grain noted that country has an annual grains shortfall of 9.9 million MTs.
  • As of 2015, China’s northeast (e.g. Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin and Inner Mongolia) had approximately 160 million MTs of corn in storage, or roughly 78% of China’s total corn reserves. In addition, during 2015, China produced 621 million MTs of grains, of which rice, wheat, and corn accounted for 92% of output (~572 million MTs). Grain crops were harvested on 113.3 million ha, with some new acreage appearing at the expense of cotton crops.
  • In July 2015, according to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, approximately 16.7% of the country’s land is polluted while 19.4% of its arable land is polluted.
  • By June 2014, according to Deputy Director of the Development Research Center of State Council, China had transferred more than 250,000 sq. km of arable land. Transferred in this case means “land for land”. The farmland is transferred to entrepreneurs for commercial purposes. At the same time local governments are required to develop or restore new arable land that is equal in area of the land that was transferred.
  • In late 2013, China announced it would halt agricultural production on ~3.33 million hectares of land owing to soil pollution (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, and additives).
  • In 2012, China’s Ministry of Finance planned to invest funds to increase the country’s high-quality farmland by 890,000 ha.

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