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Xi vows to preserve red line on China’s cropland
December 25, 2013, 6:16 am

China accounts for a fifth of the world’s population, but with less than 9 percent of its land arable, Chinese leaders have aimed to boost agriculture technology to ensure food supply [Getty Images]

China accounts for a fifth of the world’s population, but with less than 9 percent of its land arable, Chinese leaders have aimed to boost agriculture technology to ensure food supply [Getty Images]

China will prioritise food security in its rural reforms vowed China’s leaders during a two-day conference that ended on Tuesday.

“The bowls of the Chinese, in any situation, must rest soundly in our own hands. Our bowls should be filled mainly with Chinese grain. Only when a country is basically self-sufficient in food, can it take the initiative in food security and grasp the overall situation for economic and social growth,” a statement released after the meet said.

The Central Rural Work Conference, which discusses China’s agricultural policies, was presided over by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The conference singled out agriculture as the weakest link in China’s growth. China accounts for a fifth of the world’s population, but with less than 9 percent of its land arable, Chinese leaders have aimed to boost agriculture technology to ensure food supply.

 “If China wants to be strong, agriculture must be strong. If China wants to be beautiful, the countryside must be beautiful. If China wants to get rich, the farmers must get rich,” the statement said.

Annual grain output totaling 601.9 billion kilograms was up 2.1 per cent year on year in 2013.

Beijing will ensure that land reserved for agricultural use should not shrink to less than 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares), said the statement.

The Chinese government has vowed to improve agricultural product quality and food safety. “Soil culture” shall not be ruptured, as villages were sources for the Chinese traditional civilization and the countryside shall by no means turn into “desolate villages, left-behind villages or hometowns alive only in memory,” the statement said.

Rural reform was outlined as a key area in China’s reform package released after the Third Plenum meet in November this year.

Resource and environment restraints have led to a tight grain supply and demand balance in the world’s most populous nation.

 

Source: Agencies

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