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Govt to continue importing seeds, says ministry

By WANG XIAODONG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-13 16:18

The government will continue to introduce seeds from abroad to improve supply of agricultural products in the country, Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.

Out of the 350 major agricultural products available in the market, about a third were introduced from abroad, Wu Xiaoling, deputy chief for seeds supervision at the ministry, said at a news conference.

For certain vegetables, such as some types of carrots and spinach, more than 80 percent of the seeds are imported, she said.

But in general, imported seeds or seeds bred abroad account for a small percentage of all seeds used in China, she said.

For example, all rice and wheat, two main staples in China, are grown with seeds produced in China, she said. Domestically produced seeds also increased their share of all seeds used for growth of corn and cotton, she said.

The number of companies engaged in seeds business in China was about 4,300 last year, a decrease of about 50 percent from the 2011 level. Meanwhile, the companies are becoming bigger and stronger in research and innovation, Zhang Yanqiu, chief for seeds supervision at the ministry, said.

For the top 50 seeds companies in China, total investment for research and development accounted for 7.4 percent of their total sales revenue last year, compared with 4.4 percent in 2011, he said.

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