A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Agriculture will remain a strategic priority for China in 2014

February 3, 2014

China is similar to the Roman god Janus––it presents two faces for its agriculture. An agricultural titan due to its trading preeminence, yet the country yearly assesses its structural weaknesses against a human and animal domestic demand that is difficult to sustain, and against evolving eating habits.

As a net importer of agricultural commodities, such as wheat––some estimates rank China as the world largest wheat importer in 2013––as well as milk, Beijing has also developed a land purchasing policy that is seen as unavoidable to meet its food challenge.

In spite of such problems, China is considering its agricultural sector as highly strategic to assure the long-term food self-sufficiency and to conquer international markets. On January 19 and with this in mind, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) published, as was the case in the past 11 years, its first policy statement for 2014, which is based on four priorities: rural reform, modern agriculture and food security. The document indicates that China will foster environmental protection in rural areas, governmental support and protection for agriculture through continued increases in agricultural spending, financial subsidy policies for agriculture, and the implementation of compensatory measures based on price gaps on markets. In addition, Beijing will bring an end to its policy for cotton and soybean reserves, and will opt for a subsidy policy by the end of 2014.

On December 16, 2013, the Chinese price regulation commission had already announced it would strengthen its investigations into obstacles to competition, especially in the agricultural sector to protect poor households. Beijing thus aspires to turn domestic consumption into a driver of Chinese economic growth, and wants to beef up subsidy measures to limit the consequences of high prices on the poorer households.

Once more, the document proves the focus of the Chinese agricultural policy on three key goals: developing the production potential of its agriculture, improving food security for its people, while safeguarding a balance between rural and urban populations. To reach these objectives, China has implemented many support programs based on two key issues that amount to 85 percent of all paid incentives: Increasing the national production potential and improving the livelihood of farmers.

While they were minimal in 2001 when China joined the WTO, domestic support amounted to $73 billion (CN¥461 billion) in 2012. As shown by momagri’s Global Support to Agricultural Production (SGPA) indicator, China’s total support to national agriculture for the 2005-2010 period grew by 138 percent (CN¥606 billion) as it increased to CN¥1,045.7 billion from CN¥440.1 billion, and keeps rising since.

Every year, China consolidates its agricultural strategy to master its food self-sufficiency both domestically and internationally. While the goals is difficult to estimate in terms of timescale, the Chinese agricultural production will obviously continue to grow while the country will maintain its supply on foreign markets, a situation that could generate risks of imbalances in agricultural markets.

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Paris, 25 June 2019