China's agriculture upgrade to accelerate in next decade: report


Photo taken by drone on May 9, 2019 is the rape field in Shuangmiao town, Xianju county, east China's Zhejiang province. (Photo: People's Daily Online)

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The transformation and upgrading of agriculture in China will significantly accelerate in the next 10 years, and the level of agricultural modernization will steadily improve, according to a report released on Monday.

The China Agricultural Outlook (2020-2029) released by the China Agricultural Outlook Conference 2020 summarized and reviewed the market situation of 18 major agricultural products in 2019, made projections on production, consumption, trade and price in the next 10 years, and analyzed existing uncertainties.

The focus of China's agriculture development will shift from increasing production to improving quality. The production and supply of green, ecological, high-quality and safe products will increase significantly, the report said.

The structure of food grain varieties will continue to be optimized, with the planting area steadily declining. Unit yield increases will promote the steady growth of rice and wheat output, with an average annual growth rate of less than 1 percent in the next 10 years, said the report.

Soybean and milk output will grow at an average annual rate of 3 percent, and corn, fruit and poultry meat 2 percent to 3 percent, while pork, beef and mutton, sugar, vegetables and potatoes grow 1 percent to 2 percent.

The report said China's population growth will lead the continued growth of food consumption. In the next 10 years, total domestic consumption of rice and wheat is expected to increase by 2.4 percent and 11.8 percent respectively.

The scaling up of livestock production will drive the expansion of feed use consumption of coarse grains and soybeans. The total domestic consumption of corn and soybeans is expected to grow by 18.7 percent and 14.5 percent respectively.

The changing pattern of China's food consumption will stimulate demand for animal products. The total domestic consumption of meat, poultry eggs, dairy products and aquatic products is expected to increase by 20.7 percent, 8.9 percent, 39.5 percent and 9.8 percent respectively.

China's agricultural sector will be further opened up to the outside world. International trade in agricultural products will become increasingly active, and China will remain the world's largest importer of agricultural products, the report said.

China's trade partnerships with the United States, Brazil, ASEAN, the European Union, Australia and countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiate will strengthen. Agricultural imports will continue to grow and import sources will be more diverse.

Imports of wheat and corn are expected to increase by 67.1 percent and 74.6 percent respectively. Imports of soybeans are expected to reach 99.52 million tonnes, up 7.5 percent, and sugar imports will continue to increase, with an expected growth of 142.7 percent, according to the report.

China's pork imports are expected to increase significantly in the early period of next 10 years and fall rapidly in the later period due to production recovery, and beef and mutton imports will continue to increase, the report said.

Imports of dairy and aquatic products are expected to increase by 46.8 percent and 37.5 percent respectively in the next 10 years. Exports of traditionally competitive products, including fruits, vegetables and aquatic products, will maintain growth, with average annual growth rates of 5.9 percent, 3.2 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.

The price formation mechanism for agricultural products in China will continue to improve, with both nominal and real prices of agricultural products on an upward trend.

The supply of food grains will be ample in China, and the trend of market-based pricing of rice and wheat will be more obvious. Feed grain supply will be tight, and corn prices are expected to rise moderately. Land-intensive products such as soybeans, cotton, sugar and vegetable oil will be in short supply, with a high import dependency and close price linkage at home and abroad, the report said.

The China Agricultural Outlook Conference, organized by the Agricultural Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has issued the China Agricultural Outlook report for six consecutive years. The report updates agricultural monitoring information, and guides agricultural production and market adjustment of agricultural products.