Food & Agribusiness Talking Points 29-04-2016


China still faces big food supply shortfall
According to Ren Zhengxiao, head of the State Administration of Grain, China’s food situation is ‘alarming’ despite year-on-year increases in harvest yields. Currently, China has a 9.9 million tonne deficit regarding gain produced and consumed annually. China’s food security is being hampered by its rising population and rapid industrialisation. Food shortages are further exacerbated by the loss of farmland, and water and soil pollution associated with this industrialisation. However, policy makers are committed to finding a viable solution to this problem. During a conference at the end of 2015 the government stated that it will ensure output in major producing regions are protected, and will endeavour to keep cereal largely self-sufficient and staples absolutely safe. Click here for the full article.

China-funded agri-industrial park starts construction
A multi-million U.S dollar agri-industrial park was launched in central Uganda on Tuesday. The project was funded by Chinese investors and was facilitated by the cooperation of both the Chinese and Ugandan governments. Ugandan President Museveni stated that the agri-industrial park would play a pivotal role in promoting production and increasing the earnings of farmers. Museveni went further by stating that the launching of this park, as one of a series of agri-industrial parks, is vital in transforming the economy. According to the Chinese investors, the park will create up to 25,000 jobs and provide training for the local people. Click here for the full article.

Treasurer: Kidman sale contrary to national interest
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has publicly announced that his initial interpretation of the proposal to sell the Kidman and Co cattle empire to a joint venture containing 80 percent Chinese interests, is ‘contrary to national interest’. Mr Morrison stressed his position that Australia does warmly welcome foreign investment, however must be confident that it does not contradict national interests. One of the reasons Mr Morrison is apprehensive regarding the sale is that Australian bidders may have been unable to make a competitive bid because the Kidman portfolio had been offered as a single aggregated asset. The Kidman estate is Australia’s largest private land holding accounting for approximately 1.3 percent of Australia’s total land area and 2.5 percent of Australia’s agricultural land. Click here for the full article.

Exclusive interview: More Aussie food to enter China following ChAFTA
Agriculture leader Liu Yonghao told CCTV news that be believes there will soon be a huge influx of food imports from Australia. The comments are made following the recent launching of an industrial park in Zhejiang Province, presided over by both Premier Li Keqiang, and Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull. Mr Yonghao evidenced his comments by stating that the Free Trade Agreements between China and Australia have allowed ‘convenience’ for large scale importing from Australia, as well as increased communication between the two countries.  He went further by stating that he has already found several Chinese firms that are willing to invest in Australia and many Australian firms that are interested in agriculture and food safety as part of the Sino-Australia Agriculture and Food Safety 100-year cooperation plan. Click here for the full article.