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China ramps up production

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China will encourage the development of high-yielding crop varieties to boost production, state media said Saturday, citing a key rural policy document. Beijing is pushing for greater use of biotechnology and mechanization in its food security measures.

The world's biggest grain importer reported a record maize harvest last year as well as bumper crops of other grains, but the country continues to aim for higher output and lower imports, especially amid rising tensions with some trading partners , climate-related disasters and military conflicts.

In its annual rural policy draft, known as the "No. 1 document", China's cabinet said it would stabilize its grain sowing area and implement projects to improve yields with new seeds, machinery and fields, the state-run said Xinhua news agency.

Actions to increase the use of agricultural machinery and equipment will be "vigorously pursued" by improving the subsidy policy for the purchase and use of machinery, the document said.

The state plans to increase the performance of soybean cultivation and will support the development of high-oil, high-yield varieties. Also, the cultivation of oil crops, including rapeseed and camellia, will be expanded.

In recent months, China has already approved the production and sale of genetically modified soybean and corn seeds, paving the way for the commercial cultivation of GM crops this year.

The government has said it will increase funding for seed research and accelerate the selection, breeding and promotion of good varieties that the country urgently needs.

In addition, the policy document said the minimum purchase price for wheat would be raised, insurance and cultivation subsidies would be expanded, and agricultural cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative would be deepened.

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