China to Add One Million Animals to Urumqi Farms
March 7, 2014
Red meat supply concerns in China are being addressed by funding a one-million animal project to develop Xinjiang's livestock sector. The 50 million yuan injection equates to $8.2 million and is to increase the cattle and sheep numbers around the city of Urumqi in a bid to satisfy growing red meat demand and stabilize prices.
The township lies in China's northwest in the center of the Xinjiang Uygur region. The money will go to establishing new cooperatives, subsidizing large operations, tightening food safety checks and ag-product standards.
In a related story, it was announced that China will increase its 2014 budget for farming subsidies by 10 percent from last year's 1.6 trillion yuan ($261.09 billion) even as critics argue that subsidies play a limited role in boosting food production.
Maintaining food security is one of China's top priorities for this year, as rapid urbanization and pollution threaten to swallow up farmland.
Beijing aims to step up its annual grain output by providing subsidies to farmers and investing in rural infrastructure, after more than 200 million migrant workers moved to cities, slashing the rural workforce and boosting food demand.
The government has increased direct subsidies paid to farmers who plant crops from 11.41 yuan ($1.86) per mu in 2004 to more than 90 yuan per mu in 2012.
China could continue to substantially increase its farming subsidies, which currently make up about 3 percent of farmers' income compared with around 40 percent in Western economies.
Besides paying direct subsidies to farmers, China also has an annual stockpiling program in which the government sets a minimum purchase price of commodities, such as corn, rice and cotton, to safeguard farmers' income.
Reprinted in part from Reuters and The Meat Site