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Good grain harvest lifts nation's supplies

Wang Xiaodong
Updated: Dec 11,2020 08:42    China Daily

China saw another good grain harvest in 2020 with a 0.9 percent year-on-year increase in production, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Dec 10.

The total yield of grain, including rice, wheat, corn and soybeans, reached 670 million metric tons this year, marking the sixth consecutive year with grain production of more than 650 million tons, the bureau said.

Of all major crops, soybean has seen the fastest increase in production this year-8.3 percent year-on-year, with a total production of nearly 20 million tons.

Soybean is a major agricultural product for which China relies on imports to meet domestic demand, with 85 percent of domestically consumed soybean imported last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Among other major grains, the production of rice reached 212 million tons, an increase of 1.1 percent compared with last year, while production of wheat increased by 0.5 percent to 134 million tons, according to the bureau.

Food security has been a top priority in China for years, given the nation's large demand generated by its huge population. The country has realized self-sufficiency in the supply of major grains after decades of efforts.

China is now the largest grain producer in the world, and the per capita supply of grain in China reached 470 kilograms last year, above the 400 kg international standard for food security.

Of all 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the Chinese mainland, 26 recorded increases in grain production this year, said Li Suoqiang, chief for rural affairs at the bureau, adding that a good harvest this year will contribute greatly to stable overall economic and social development.

"We have achieved another good grain harvest this year. This has provided a solid foundation for China to cope with a complex and fluctuating domestic and international environment and to overcome all kinds of risks and challenges," he said.

With consecutive large harvests, the grain reserves have also reached a historic high. It is estimated that stocks of major grains in China can meet the demand from the whole population for more than one year, Qin Yuyun, chief of grain reserves at the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, said at a news conference last week.

Li, from the National Bureau of Statistics, said local governments across China have increased support for grain production and released various measures this year that resulted in increased enthusiasm among farmers to grow grain and a 0.6 percent increase year-on-year in total farming area for grain.

Meanwhile, a favorable climate in most parts of China this year also contributed to growth in grain production. In certain parts hit by natural disasters such as flooding and typhoons, intensified efforts were mobilized to alleviate their negative impact, he said.

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