News 302 views last update:6 Aug 2012

China aims to become nr 1 in agriculture

"Only state-of-art scientific and technological progress will allow China to feed its growing population and ensure long-lasting grain security," Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu told a group of agricultural scientists attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences over the weekend.

Hui also said that China could become a global power in agricultural sciences by 2020 despite challenges such as climate change and resource shortages. Furthermore, the Chinese aim to become a science power by 2050.

More grains
Chinese grain output is estimated to reach 500 million tons this year. In 1984, this was still 400 million tons. The increased output of grains is mainly the result of the introduction of new crops, of which hybrid rice was one of the biggest successes. "However, we are still going uphill when it comes to developing agriculture," Hui said. "Maintaining a sound and rapid pace is still a demanding task."

Challenges to overcome
Zhai Huqu, the academy's president, said the agriculture industry faces challenges from environmental pollution, disastrous weather and shortages of water, finances and labor in some regions. Arable land loss, the impact of climate change on agriculture, preventing plant and animal diseases and food safety are also high on the government's concern list.

Zhai, a rice expert, said these challenges should spur research and scientific breakthroughs that will guarantee the country's grain security and food safety, even after the population reaches 1.6 billion in 2030.

Source: China Daily

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