15 September 1999
China ready to import more grain

CHINA is likely to increase grain import because of farm reforms which will move it away from a long-held policy of self-sufficiency, says a government economist.

Self-sufficiency has carried an excessive financial and environmental cost, said Ma Xiahoe, vice director-general of the state development planning commission.

He is predicting domestic production to fall to 95% of the demand over the next 10 years and 90% by 2030.

That would mean grain imports rising to 33m tonnes by 2010 and 63m tonnes by 2030.

China has fulfilled almost 99% of its grain needs from its own production over the last two decades.

Western critics of Chinas self-sufficiency policy said it led to stockpiling, corruption and domestic prices higher than the international level.

  • Financial Times 15/09/99 page 1