Excerpt from: China central radio-the voice of rural China, agricultural and rural issues of China
Interviewee: Cheng Guoqiang, Distinguished professor,Tongji SEM. Former secretary general of academic committee of DRC
The No. 1 Document issued by the central government in 2019 made a special emphasis, releasing a clear signal of focusing on agriculture and grain, and proposed to consolidate the agricultural foundation to ensure the effective supply of important agricultural products, that includes stabilizing grain output, completing the construction task of high-standard farmland, adjusting and optimizing agricultural structure, accelerating breakthroughs in key and core agricultural technologies, and implementing the strategy of ensuring important agricultural products supply.
Promotion of High-standard farmland construction and productivity increase of arable land
“To guarantee the sowing area of grain crops stable at 1,650 million mu, strictly holding the red line of 1,800 million mu of arable land. To fully implement the special protection system for permanent basic farmland to ensure that permanent basic farmland remains above 1,546 million mu. In addition, to accelerate the construction of high-standard farmland to ensure the achievement of 800 million mu of high-standard farmland by 2020. ”— excerpt from Central Document No. 1
Cheng Guoqiang: the production capacity and efficiency improvement of cultivated land mainly depends on the infrastructure and security capacity of basic farmland, that is, how to ensure the basic stability of grain output through improving the resistance elasticity of cultivated land under adverse conditions such as natural disasters. Therefore, it is necessary to upgrade the basic farmland and promote the construction of high-standard farmland, so as to improve the disaster resistance and production efficiency of basic farmland. No. 1 Document of the central government further drives the implementation of the policy of storing grain in the land and storing grain through technology, and also stresses that the construction of high-standard farmland is the direction we shall push forward next.
Acceleration of breakthroughs in key and core agricultural technologies to fundamentally solve agricultural problems
“To accelerate breakthroughs in key and core agricultural technologies, to strengthen innovation-driven development, to carry out key and core agricultural technology breakthroughs, to foster a number of strategic agricultural science and technology innovation forces, and to promote independent innovation in biological seed industries, heavy agricultural machinery, smart agriculture, and green inputs.” — excerpt from Central Document No. 1
Cheng Guoqiang: science and technology is one of the key factors to improve agricultural production efficiency. Under the background of limited environmental capacity, only to improve per unit area yield, productivity and efficiency through science and technology, can we solve the problems of high cost and low benefit faced by agricultural production. Therefore, the breakthrough of key and core technology is the fundamental measure to guarantee China’s food security and to solve agricultural problems. From cultivation to field management, to processing and transformation, to the construction of management system, every segment in the agricultural field actually contains key and core technologies.
To implement the strategy of ensuring the supply of important agricultural products and to establish a global agricultural food supply chain security system
“To strengthen top-level design and systematic planning, to ensure the domestic supply of grain and other important agricultural products, to make comprehensive arrangement of both domestic and international markets and resources, to scientifically determine the security level of important domestic agricultural products, to improve the security system and the domestic security capacity. At the same time, to accelerate and support the agricultural sector to go global and raise the level of agricultural cooperation with other countries. — excerpt from Central Document No. 1
Cheng Guoqiang: the proposal of important agricultural product security strategy is helpful for China to establish a more stable global agricultural food supply chain security system. In recent years, due to the limitation of domestic resources, China has made full use of the international market while guaranteeing the absolute safety of food rations. However, once fluctuations or trade friction happen in the international market , it may impact the domestic agricultural market.
To appropriately import grain to ensure food security and to give full play to the role of agriculture, rural areas and farmers as a ballast
Cheng Guoqiang pointed out that the construction of important agricultural products supply security system is not only the inheritance and development of the content of the Central No. 1 Document in 2014, but also can give full play to the role of “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” under the background of the complex situation at home and abroad.
In addition, considering China’s current resource conditions and the environmental cost of agricultural development, it has become inevitable to supplement the domestic market with international resources through appropriate imports.
To comprehensively upgrade food security management and diversify import to spread market risks
Cheng Guoqiang indicated that we need to accurately grasp the new situation facing food security and comprehensively upgrade the country’s food security management level. At the same time, in addition to strengthening the food infrastructure and improving the production capacity, we should also expand the food industry chain and further improve the management capacity of the international agricultural food supply chain, which requires the diversification of import methods.
Soybean, for example, is mainly distributed in South and North America, while there are many regions with soybean production potential in fact. If we can exploit the production potential of these regions, establish the corresponding storage and logistics ports, so as to develop international trade, China’s annual import demand of more than 90 million tons of foreign soybeans can be achieved through multi-regional layout. In addition, the multi-regional layout can also play an important role in our diversification of possible market risks.