Beijing city seeks ‘seed capital’ to ensure food security

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Soybeans are harvested in Heilongjiang Province. File photo: Xinhua

Beijing’s municipal government on Wednesday announced its plan to revitalize the local seed industry with modern agricultural technologies, ranging from cattle breeding to vegetable planting, as part of its latest efforts to boost production and agriculture. grain supply.

The move comes as Beijing takes the lead in realizing the modernization of agriculture and rural areas, taking concrete steps to pave the way for the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress, according to the plan.

In a context of growing global uncertainty, food security has been at the forefront of national strategy, with central and local governments stepping up their efforts to strengthen regional agricultural development by securing cereal production and reducing the risks associated with a high dependence on grain imports. .

The Beijing government’s latest notice underlined the goal of transforming the city into a real “seed capital”. Under the annual target for 2022, the area sown to cereals is expected to reach 1 million mu (66,667 hectares), of which the area sown to soybeans will reach 42,000 mu.

The city will stabilize the amount of vegetable land cultivated all year round, with the total area for vegetable sowing to reach 750,000 mu and production to reach 1.8 million tons, while the self-sufficiency rate is expected to s rise to more than 16 percent, according to the diet.

To achieve these goals, Beijing will focus on developing seed industries and build a national corn seed innovation center.

The cultivation, breeding and protection of some local cattle species such as Pekin ducks and pigs are also included in the plan, and several demonstration areas will be built to facilitate the project.

Jiao Shanwei, editor of cngrain.com, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China has always focused on protecting and developing seeds, a key content in agriculture.

“While the nation has been pushing agricultural development in this sector and China’s agricultural market has been huge, there has been a substantial amount of seed dependent on imports from overseas,” Jiao said.

As the global landscape becomes increasingly complex, the Beijing government’s latest efforts to ensure food supply security while managing the potential risks of a heavy reliance on food imports, experts said.

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