Chinese companies will be encouraged to buy farmland abroad, particularly in Africa and South America, to help guarantee food security under a plan being considered by Beijing.
A proposal drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture would make supporting offshore land acquisition by domestic agricultural companies a central government policy. Beijing already has similar policies to boost offshore investment by state-owned banks, manufacturers and oil companies, but offshore agricultural investment has so far been limited to a few small projects.
If approved, the plan could face intense opposition abroad given surging global food prices and deforestation fears. However an official close to the deliberations said it was likely to be adopted.
“There should be no problem for this policy to be approved. The problem might come from foreign governments who are unwilling to give up large areas of land,” the official said.
The move comes as oil-rich but food-poor countries in the Middle East and north Africa explore similar options. Libya is talking with Ukraine about growing wheat in the former Soviet republic, while Saudi Arabia has said it would invest in agricultural and livestock projects abroad to ensure food security and control commodity prices.
China is losing its ability to be self-sufficient in food as its rising wealth triggers a shift away from diet staples such as rice towards meat, which requires large amounts of imported feed.
Emphasis added by me.
And what do we have?
Calls for the accelerated use of Frankenfoods!
But basic food security? Nothing!