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Xi emphasizes steps to ensure food security

By XU WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-27 06:57
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Combine harvesters are used to harvest rice on farmland belonging to the Beidahuang Agricultural Reclamation Group. CHINA DAILY

He urges concrete measures to boost agricultural production, supply

President Xi Jinping has reiterated the need to stabilize the fundamentals of the agricultural sector and ensure the nation's food security, saying that China should achieve assessable outcomes in growing more soybeans and other oil crops.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for more concrete measures and stronger implementation to guarantee stable agricultural production and supply and steady growth in the sector and rural areas.

Xi's remarks were published on Sunday as the two-day Central Rural Work Conference, which outlined China's rural development plans for the coming year, was concluded in Beijing.

While addressing a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Xi emphasized that ensuring the supply of primary products is a major strategic issue and the Chinese people must have firm control over their own food supply.

He highlighted the importance of self-reliance in food security, saying that Party and government officials must assume the same responsibilities.

It is important to ensure the acreage of arable land and level of food production in major grain production areas as well as other areas, he said.

Xi underscored that the requirements for the protection of arable land must be further clarified to ensure that China's total of 120 million hectares of farmland is a reliable figure and that all of the farmland is fertile.

He highlighted the importance of adjusting crop structure and ensuring the security of the supply of pork and vegetables.

The president said that the consolidation of poverty alleviation outcomes is the premise for rural vitalization, calling for unrelenting efforts in this regard to improve the lives of residents who have just shaken off poverty.

It is important to move forward the alignment between poverty reduction efforts and rural vitalization to prevent a large-scale reemergence of poverty, he said.

Premier Li Keqiang said at a State Council executive meeting before the conference that the nation must adopt unremitting measures in the production and supply of grain and key agricultural produce.

He called for greater efforts to stabilize grain acreage and increase the production of soybeans and other oil crops, saying that the supply and steady prices of agricultural production materials must be guaranteed.

It is important to carry out the strategy to enhance the potential for grain production with measures to stabilize the area of farmland, improve agricultural technology and strengthen farmland protection, he said.

Li also called for measures to improve rural governance and the living environment in rural areas and to continue refining rural infrastructure and the level of public services.

The conference, which brought together ministerial officials and officials from different provincial areas, called for steps to stabilize grain acreage next year and expand the production of oil crops to ensure that China's grain output can be stabilized at a level of 650 billion kilograms in 2022.

China's grain output reached 682.85 billion kg in 2021, up 13.4 billion kg from last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Participants at the conference also pledged to stabilize pork production and ensure the effective supply of livestock, poultry and aquatic products.

The conference also adopted a decision to develop 6.66 million hectares of high-quality farmland, push forward breakthroughs in key agricultural technologies, and improve the research, development and application of agricultural machinery.

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