China is expecting another good harvest year and has optimized farming patterns, which will consolidate the country’s food security and help cope with various economic risks at home and abroad, a senior official in charge of agriculture said.
The total output of grains in China this year is forecast to remain above 600 million metric tons, the sixth consecutive year of good harvest, Han Changfu, minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said in an interview.
“The supply of grain is assured in China,” he said as farmers across the country prepare for the fall harvest.
The total area of grains grown for the fall harvest nationwide has increased compared with last year, and production of major grains such as wheat and rice will remain stable this year, while stocks remain adequate, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, China has continued optimizing farming patterns to better meet demand from consumers. The total area in which corn and rice are farmed decreased this year, while that for soybeans and peanuts increased by 667,000 hectares, Han said. As a result, China has reduced reliance on imports for soybean and peanut consumption, he said.
Production areas for fruits, vegetables and tea this year have increased as well, which has better met demand from the people, according to the minister.
“With stable development of agriculture and food security, we are confident of coping with various fluctuations and economic risks at home and abroad,” he said.
Han also said China will intensify cooperation with other countries and import more agricultural products from major agricultural countries.
“China will keep opening up the agriculture sector,” he said, adding that the country has greatly lowered the threshold for foreign investors’ access to its agriculture sector and abolished a number of restrictive measures.
The annual trade value of agricultural products in and out of China grew from about $28 billion in 2001 to $201 billion last year, according to the ministry.
Han said the country will continue to provide support to countries where food security is still a problem, and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative will be a key part of the international cooperation.
Talking about trade friction between China and the United States, the minister said such friction will hurt both sides, but China has enough confidence to cope with challenges.
Han said China has intensified the improvement of farming infrastructure in recent years and promoted application of science and technology in agriculture to improve food security.