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DCZ NEWS DIGEST JULY 2022
Dear partners and friends of the DCZ,

This News Digest brings to you some more information on food security related issues: reports on the successful summer grain harvest display a positive outlook for national food security in the year 2022 but also stress the importance of a good autumn harvest to achieve the annual target. At the same time, measures to enforce the law against food loss and waste are announced and approach the subject of food security from the post-production angle. More achievements in seed research are expected from the Nanfan Research Institute. Established by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Hainan, the institute is another pillar in China’s multipronged food security strategy. 

We also welcome the new Ambassador at the German Embassy to China, Dr. Patricia Flor, and include a link to the Wechat channel of the embassy, where she outlines her expectations and hopes for the relation between Germany and China (in German with Chinese subtitles). 

Also check out the latest DCZ publications on China’s plan to reduce emissions in agriculture and on the new law on black soil protection.

We hope you find something of interest in this July edition of the News Digest. Don’t hesitate to share your feedback at info-dcz@iakleipzig.de or follow us on LinkedIn.

Enjoy the read!
 
Agri News
Official statistics report record grain summer harvest
The national summer grain harvest reached a record 147 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 1.4 million tons, according to an announcement by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on 14 July. This is a solid basis to achieve the national food security “red line” of 650 million tons of grain to be harvested in the whole year, official statements said. The total summer plantation area reached 25.5 million hectares, an increase of over 90,000 hectares compared to the previous year, while the area grown to wheat increased by 50,800 hectares. Zeng Yande, chief agronomist at of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), stressed the importance of the autumn harvest to achieve the annual grain target during a MARA press conference. Experts at the press conference noted that China’s elevated harvest levels would reduce the stress on the current global food crisis, while tighter Chinese cooperation with the EU and US on food and agriculture would help to further enhance global food security. Western analysists, in turn, have expressed skepticism about harvest numbers, given the record level of grain stockpiling and imports by China in the last two years.
Chinese government | Global Times | World Grain
 
Relaxation in household registration system announced
On 12 July, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced a new urbanization plan, promising to further reform China’s household registration (hukou) system. According to the plan, cities with less than 3 million inhabitants will abolish all restrictions for new residents, while cities with populations between 3 and 5 million will further relax hukou restrictions. Mega cities with more than 5 million people will modify their existing scoring systems to give more weight to factors such as social welfare contribution and length of residence, rather than solely favoring top-level degrees. The new policy intends to accelerate urbanization, stimulate population growth, and reduce social service discrimination against migrant workers. The hukou system has been accused of creating an urban-rural divide, but the new rules will make it easier for rural residents to obtain an urban registration with access to health care and schooling. The plan also mentions further reform of China’s household responsibility system for farmland, attracting more urban residents to rural areas, and diversifying the rural economy. The plan has been widely welcomed by observers as a step towards urban-rural integration and the liberalization of the labor market.
Chinese government | China Daily | SCMP
 
China drops COVID-19 testing on some imported foods 
China has suspended the testing of ambient food products and goods, according to a statement by the National Health Commission (NHC). Since 2020, customs authorities have been using strict testing and disinfection measures for goods entering China from abroad in a bid to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic – despite widespread consensus that the coronavirus does not survive long on packaging. The new guidelines now exempt ambient food products from testing. Chilled and frozen foods will continue to be tested, the NHC statement noted, but exporters whose products test positive will no longer face trade suspensions. English media sources have interpreted the policy shift as an effort to reduce the costs of China’s strict COVID measures as the country is grappling with the impact of global inflation and strained supply chains.
NHC | Reuters | China.Table
 
NDRC announces measures to enforce law against food loss and waste
More than a year after China adopted the Law against Food Loss and Waste (FLW), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced a series of measures to ensure enforcement. The country’s state planning body informed that it would revise existing standards and norms against FLW and issue a guideline for law enforcement. Furthermore, standards for evaluation and inspection of FLW would be revised and a statistical and monitoring system for grain loss and waste established. Despite recent efforts, massive levels of food waste still occur along the entire food chain, a piece in Economic Daily warned. As it becomes ever more difficult to increase grain output, reducing loss and waste is equivalent to increasing production, the news outlet argued.
Global Times | Economic Daily

For further information on China’s FLW policies, see DCZ policy brief  "Food Loss and Waste in China" by Huang Jiaqi (CAAS) and the cover story „ Food Loss and Waste – an urgent global topic tackled by Sino-German activities“ by Felicitas Schneider and Stefan Lange (Thuenen Institute) in DCZ Newsletter No. 16.
 
More research teams sent to Nanfan to bolster national seed development
The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China’s top ag research body, has established seven new innovation teams at the Nanfan Research Institute in Yazhou Bay, Sanya on Hainan Island, according to a report in Chinese news outlet The Paper. Striving to make China a global “seed power” and establish a “Nanfan Silicon Valley of Seeds”, the inter-disciplinary teams will focus on cutting-edge research in crop production, wild crop seed protection and use, crop precision breeding technology, smart breeding through big data and other digital technologies, biosecurity risk assessment, as well as quality certification and classification for newly developed seeds. Since March 2022, these units have already secured 67 projects worth 45 million RMB, published 30 academic papers, and gained seven patents.
The Paper
 
EU and China agree to jointly tackle food crisis
China agreed to closer cooperation with the European Union on food security issues, following recent trade talks between senior officials. This would also involve the export of fertilizer from China, a statement by the EU published in Bloomberg News noted. China is a major producer of fertilizer, but export restrictions in place since last year to prop up domestic supply have rattled global fertilizer markets, further tightening supply.
Bloomberg
 
New German ambassador to China takes office
The new ambassador at the German Embassy to China, Dr. Patricia Flor, has taken up her post in Beijing. Before her arrival in Beijing, Dr. Flor held the post of the ambassador of the European Union to Japan from 2018 to 2022. On the Chinese-language WeChat channel of the German embassy 德国印象, she outlines her expectations and hopes for the relation between Germany and China.
WeChat | German embassy | German embassy
 
DCZ Activities
Field trip: Organic Field Days 2022 – Germany's organic farming sector on the rise
Held since 2017, the Organic Field Days are the biggest convention of organic farmers in Germany. This year, Eva Sternfeld, Head of Scientific Dialogue at DCZ, visited the event at Gladbacher Hof in Villmar-Aumenau, Hesse to find out about the latest trends and innovations shaping Germany's organic farming sector.


© Marzena Seidel, FiBL GmbH
Read the report
DCZ analysis: China announces plan to reduce emissions in agriculture
Climate-friendly practices in agriculture are receiving more policy attention. Against the backdrop of China’s dual carbon goals (carbon peaking in 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060), a new action plan aims to significantly reduce ag emissions and enhance agriculture’s carbon sequestration capacity. Released on 1 July 2022, the plan is likely to be of high significance for China’s efforts to build a sustainable, climate-friendly agri-food system. DCZ expert Ahmatjan Rouzi takes a deeper look at the plan and its implications.
Read more
DCZ analysis: New law on black soil protection
The rich, black soils in China’s northeast account for a quarter of the nation’s grain output. Yet, this highly productive region is grappling with declining soil fertility and degradation. A new Black Soil Protection Law seeks to address these issues. But balancing food security imperatives with the protection of soil resources is no easy task. Success will depend in large part on how well the law will be translated into county-level policies, argues agricultural policy expert Lea Siebert.
Read more
Agrifood Events
Event: China International Animal Husbandry Expo (CAHE)
As the largest livestock show in Asia, CAHE brings together businesses along the livestock value chain from all over the world. On hold since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is slated to resume this year in Chengdu.

Date: 10 – 12 August 2022, Chengdu
Organizers: China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA)

NOTE: With COVID-19 restrictions still applying throughout China, events might be postponed or access restricted. Please visit the official website to find out more about current regulations and dates.
Visit event website
Useful Resources
IAMO policy brief investigates China’s role in global ag markets
As the world’s largest consumer of agricultural products, China’s trade strategies have an outsized effect on agricultural markets and consumers worldwide. The latest policy brief by DCZ partner IAMO (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies) takes an in-depth look at China’s current market actions and assesses their likely future developments and global impacts.
Read the brief (English)
Read the brief (German)
DCALDP provides reference material on integrated farming techniques to Chinese practitioners
The Sino-German Crop Production and Agrotechnology Demonstration Park (DCALDP), a bilateral cooperation project associated with DCZ that aims to introduce efficient and sustainable farming practices in China, has released a Chinese-language guide on integrated farming practices. Developed on the basis of the European Integrated Farming Framework, the guide aims to raise awareness and improve everyday practices on Chinese farms to meet future environmental, economic, and social challenges.
Download guide
Whitepaper on China’s hog sector
China’s hog industry has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, including the damage and rebuilding from African Swine Fever (ASF), surging meat imports, the consolidation of the hog breeding sector, and demand reduction amid continuing Covid-19 restrictions. Research firm Sitonia Consulting provides an overview on where China’s hog industry stands and where it is going in a recent whitepaper.
Download whitepaper
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This DCZ News Digest is published under the responsibility of the Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and implemented by IAK Agrar Consulting GmbH (IAK). All views, conclusions, proposals or recommendations stated do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the BMEL, DCZ or IAK.
Copyright © 2022 IAK Agrar Consulting, All rights reserved.


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