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 and agro-food: The pillars of China’s balances

May 11, 2015

Feeding a nation with 1,350 billion people with less than nine percent of the world’s farmland is the complex equation to be resolved by China. Both an agricultural giant and a trading powerhouse, the Middle Kingdom is, every year, also taking account of its structural weaknesses, in the face of the human and animal demand that is hard to sustain and changing food patterns.

In spite of these shortcomings, China views its agriculture sector as highly strategic to ensure its long-term food self-sufficiency and to gain new international markets. In this respect, the country is seeking to build on its standing in the African continent by presenting itself as a driver to develop African agriculture.

In the end, the Chinese agricultural policy is based on three key objectives: Developing its agricultural output potential, improving food security for its population, while safeguarding a balance between rural and urban communities. To reach this goal, China has implemented several support programs focusing on two main issues that account for 85 percent of all paid subsidies: Increasing the national production potential and improving farmers’ standard of living. In addition, agricultural lending has increased by six percent between 2007 and 2014, going from 22 to 28 percent of total loans. China is also increasingly upgrading its agribusiness industry––not yet operational in the 1980s––and is counting on larger agribusiness investments abroad (in 2013, China is said to have invested over $10 billion in foreign agribusiness ventures). In France, two milk powder plants financed by China went into operation in 2015, and are supported by partnerships with dairy cooperative businesses (Isigny-Saint-Mère in Normandy and Sodiaal in Brittany).

Yet, while Beijing is regularly announcing the strengthening of its support policy and the ever-greater modernization of its agricultural sector, both climate hazards (increased farmland pollution) and growing reliance to imports ($10 billion in 2000 to $123 billion in 2013) are reminding us of the daily challenges confronting the country. Let’s not forget that China accounts for 20 percent of the world’s grain consumption, 25 percent of the world’s meat consumption, and that its milk consumption is increasing rapidly. In addition, foreign markets are providing 80 percent of country’s soybean supply.

Every year, China is beefing up its agricultural strategy to master its food self-sufficiency, both domestically and abroad. If the deadline of this goal is hard to pinpoint, the country’s agricultural output is bound to increase while pursuing the supply from foreign markets, with the risks of agricultural market imbalances that such a situation might generate.

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Paris, 19 June 2019