China to ensure grain security with new measures

3 min read

China will advance technological innovation in the seed industry and improve farmland conservation in 2021 to ensure grain security, the country’s agriculture minister said.

Calling seeds the “chip” of agriculture, Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, vowed to make the development of the seed industry a major task of the country’s agricultural and rural modernization.

Tang urged technological breakthroughs in seeds, calling for efforts to strengthen the establishment of seed banks, the foundation of innovation in the seed industry.

China’s current crop germplasm pool stores 440,000 pieces of crop resources. A new crop germplasm pool capable of storing 1.5 million pieces of various crops will be put into operation in 2021, with the pool capacity the highest in the world.

Apart from boosting the seed industry, Tang underscored efforts for farmland conservation to ensure grain production. The total arable land shall not be less than 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares), a red line set by the Chinese government, and efforts should be made to prevent the use of arable land for non-farming purposes, said Tang.

China has added 80 million mu of high-standard farmland that can ensure stable grain yields despite droughts or excessive rain in each of the last two years. The country plans to add 100 million mu of such farmland in 2021, according to Tang.

Tourism sector

The added value of tourism and related industries in China amounted to roughly 4.5 trillion yuan (US$690 billion) in 2019, official data shows.

The volume accounted for 4.56% of China’s GDP in 2019, up 0.05 percentage points from a year earlier, according to calculations from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Specifically, 31.3% of the total added value of tourism and related industries came from shopping, the largest contributor, while the added value of traveling came in at 1.21 trillion yuan in 2019, accounting for 26.8 % of the total.

Other aspects of tourism such as entertainment and accommodation registered rapid added value growth in 2019, respectively increasing 12.9% and 10.4% from a year earlier.

Market liquidity

China’s central bank on Monday conducted 20 billion yuan of reverse repos to maintain stable liquidity in the banking system. The interest rate for the seven-day reverse repos was set at 2.2 %, according to a statement on the website of the People’s Bank of China.

Meanwhile, 160 billion yuan of reverse repos matured on the same day, resulting in a net liquidity withdrawal of 140 billion yuan from the market.

Company news

Online games developed by Tencent were reinstated on the app store of Chinese telecom giant Huawei late on Friday hours after being removed over a cooperation dispute.

Huawei earlier in the day said the removal of the games was in response to a “big change” by Tencent on December 31 to how the companies work with each other, without offering details. In a statement, the company said its decision followed an assessment by its legal team and was based on the premise that Tencent is unilaterally asking to discontinue cooperation.

Tencent explained its products were taken down because of the “the failure of Huawei’s mobile game platform to renew its contract with our Mobile Game Promotion Project Agreement as scheduled.”

Tesla Inc on Friday said it has started taking orders for its China-made Model Y sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), with a 30% price markdown.

The delivery to customers is set to start this month, as the US electric vehicle maker expands sales in the world’s biggest car market.

According to its China website, the starting price for Tesla Model Y’s Long Range version, built in its Shanghai gigafactory, is set at 339,900 yuan, compared with 488,000 yuan quoted in presale orders six months ago.

Tony Simon

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