Food & Agribusiness Talking Points | 3/04/2018

In today’s talking points: Booming Technology Industry is Reshaping Agriculture Throughout China; China Aims for Modernised Farm Sector by 2035; China Establishes New Food and Food Related Agencies; China Unveils Retaliatory Tariffs on American Food Imports.


Booming Technology Industry is Reshaping Agriculture Throughout China

The Chinese agriculture industry is experiencing productivity increase brought about by spill overs from China’s booming technology industry. The lagging agriculture industry is becoming more and more high-tech, increasing efficiency and bring it into competitiveness with the world market. Technologies such as drone-spraying are much more efficient than traditional tractor sprayers, let alone manual spraying. The use of these technologies in rural industries is paving the way for China’s agriculture industry to continue growing. Li WeiGuo – an official with the Ministry of Agriculture said that China will continue to advance the scientific and technological innovation of agricultural machines, providing efficient equipment and technical support throughout the industry, all increasing the growth of scale farming.
Read more on XinHua

China aims for modernised farm sector by 2035

In the annual No.1 Document published by Beijing, a new long-range agriculture strategy has been set out, aiming to modernise the domestic agriculture industry by 2035. China – the world’s most populous country and largest agriculture sector in the world is aiming for a rural revitalisation, pooling individual land units into groups, the creation of a domestic dairy industry and the strengthening of the farm equipment industry. The document also set out goals of investing in foreign agriculture industries and the creation of large Chinese agriculture conglomerates, leading to larger exports of high-value crops and boosting China’s influence in the international trade arena. China currently produces high volumes of wheat, corn, rice and cotton, among many other basic crops, however it is best known as a high volume agriculture importer – a reputation it is looking to move away from.


China Establishes New Food and Food Related Agencies

On March 17th, the National People’s Congress approved the creation of 3 new regulatory agencies stemming from the cabinet reshuffle spread throughout the party congress. The motion creates the State Market Regulatory Administration (SMRA), the National Health Commission (NHC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA). The SMAR will incorporate the current CFDA and the AQSIQ agencies, becoming responsible for food safety, and industrial product safety. MARA will replace the current Ministry of Agriculture. The NHC is absorbing the National Health and Family Planning Commission, becoming responsible for developing food safety standards relating to food packaging materials and conducting risk assessments.

Read more on the National Law Review


China unveils retaliatory tariffs on American food imports

Chinese officials have unveiled a host of retaliatory tariffs on US food imports including pork, fruit nuts and wine. The tariffs imposed are up to 25% and come following the Trump administrations imposition of a new tariff schedule on steel and aluminium imports. The tariffs cover 128 kinds of products and were put into force on Monday, 2nd of April “in order to safeguard China’s interests and balance the losses cause by the United States’ additional tariffs”. The response to US tariffs is seen by many as relatively tame, as it left out key US exports to China such as soybeans which the US exports US$ 14 billion last year. Chinese officials have stated that they have no interest in getting into a trade war with the US and the newly introduced tariffs signal this further.

Read more on the Financial Times