Soybeans are harvested in Heilongjiang province. (Photo/Xinhua)
Li says healthy production supports stable economic, social development
China will further promote stable grain production and step up its ability to ensure food security, participants in the State Council's Executive Meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, decided on Thursday.
Thanks to a succession of bumper harvests in recent years, the country has had an ample supply of major agricultural products and ensured basic self-sufficiency in cereal grains as well as absolute grain security, officials said.
There is a solid foundation for another good harvest this year. The area planted in winter wheat increased for the first time in nearly four years, and the crop is in better shape than it had been in previous years, officials said.
Summer crops are expected to have another bumper harvest. Spring plowing and sowing has progressed smoothly, and the area planted in early-season rice remains stable. The intended farmland devoted to grains for the year will expand, with area in corn increasing from the previous year.
"Stable grain production and greater ability to ensure food security have provided a solid underpinning for promoting stable economic and social development and responding to the impact of COVID-19. Annual grain output should remain at no less than 650 billion kilograms this year," Li said.
Policies including minimum purchase prices for rice and wheat and subsidies for corn and soybean producers will remain and be refined. Central budgetary investment and proceeds from the transfer of land-use rights at the provincial level will be tilted toward major grain-producing counties.
Grain procurement, reserves and market regulation will be enhanced to ensure supply and keep prices stable. Grain storage and logistics facilities will be improved, and the scale and mix of grain reserves further refined.
"For a country as big as China, appropriate grain reserves are indispensable. The central government should assume responsibility in this regard, and subnational authorities should also play their due part," Li said.
The plan for a new round of high-standard farmland development will be implemented, and 100 million mu, equivalent to 6.67 million hectares, of high-standard farmland with high resilience during droughts and floods and high yield stability will be cultivated this year, officials said.
The underpinning role of science and technology in agricultural production will be reinforced. A sound commercial breeding system will be established, and seed industry enterprises will be nurtured and expanded. The research, development and extensive application of practical and efficient farming machinery and equipment will be supported.
"As urbanization picks up speed, it is imperative to increase our grain supply capacity. We must leverage market-oriented mechanisms, broaden supply channels and boost grain supply microcirculation to ensure sufficient provision of diverse varieties and maintain the stable operation of the grain market," Li said.