Changes in How China Copes with Food Security Related to Grains

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Changes in How China Copes with Food Security Related to Grains
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Small farm plot in Xi'an area, corn grown in the area is dried on roofs or hung from trees

Because China's grain imports more than doubled from January to September, according to ChinaDaily, China needs to better manage its imports of grains. The same report explained China met its millennium goal of reducing poverty in the country from 250 million people to 26.88 million. One difficulty, a FarmSite report explains, is environmental problems in China due to:

* High temperatures leading to smaller kernel size

* Low temperatures with high humidity leading to diseases like fusarium

* Unusual spread of aphids, spiders, and armyworm according to ChinaDaily, increasingly treated with pesticides

* Limited water resources in the northern grain belt according to USDA.gov and Water-Technology.net.

Other ways China is seeking to control its requirements for grains includes:

To Boost Farm Productivity China Seeks to Form 110 Mega Firms

According to ChinaDaily, China will use fiscal and tax policies to encourage acquisitions and mergers of the many smaller farm corporations until they form 100 MegaFirms with annual sales of $1.59 billion dollars or more.

Protection of Grasslands Announced

In November, China announced stiffer penalties for crimes that damage its sensitive grasslands including illegal grazing or farming. It has also added a subsidy program for herders, that will seek to move herds into enclosed areas, according to Xinhua.

The South to North Water Project

China is working on a major water plan called the South to North Water Project. When the project is complete, water from several rivers will be diverted northward along tunnels, pumping stations, canals, and includes additions to current reservoirs, according to USDA.gov and Water-Technology.net .

Insurance for Small Farmers

China has started a fledgling agricultural insurance program to protect small farmers from crop failures and help ensure that they remain in business, according to Global Times.

Chinese AgriBusinesses are Purchasing Agricultural Property Worldwide

Like many Global AgriBusinesses, China wants to ensure a supply of crops, investing in croplands around the world including:

* According to IIAS, China has acquired one 110,000-hectare plot and one 2,000-hectare plot in Tajikistan.

* According to the Vancouver Sun, Beidahuang, one of China's agribusiness, has purchased 60,000 hectares in Western Australia, including the Port of Albany; 300,000 hectares in the Rio Negra Province of Patagonia in Argentina; and a 99-year lease on 1 million hectares in Kazakstan.

* According to Consultancy Africa, China has purchased less than 50,000 hectares of land in Africa, not the more than 3 million claimed by some. China creates joint ventures with the African government, while allowing Chinese immigrants to teach locals Chinese farming techniques, growing food primarily for the local market.

Corn Production Hybrids

According to Reuters, China is working with a variety of seed firms, including Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta AG, to develop corn hybrids with tougher stalks more suited to mechanized harvest, and species that are drought-, weed- and pest-resistant, leading to much higher yields.

China is Diversifying Grain Imports Relations

China is diversifying its grain purchases:

* China cancelled purchases of U.S. soybeans totaling about 600,000 metric tons, according to CattleNetwork.com, lowering prices.

* As of mid-November, Canada is building agricultural relations with China, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food of Canada.

* China will expect to buy increasing amounts of many agricultural products from the Australian market, according to Xinhua.

* The Ukraine expects to begin exporting 500,000 to 700,000 tons of grain to China, according to ChinaDaily.

* According to a Reuters report, India is looking to export more rice and wheat to China and or Iran.

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