Chinese government highlights seed industry development in 2010

By 2009, China had reaped bumper harvest for six years running. However, as land area is limited, it has become harder and harder to maintain grain output growth. Lifting grain yield is key to meeting increasing demand. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) show that high-quality seed contributes more than 36 percent to the grain output increase. According to the document, the government will step up efforts to research and industrialize new genetically modified products in a bid to promote development of seed industry in the future. In December of last year, the MoA issued safety certificates for genetically modified rice and corn. On January 11 of 2010, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences set its research focus on genetically modified products for the year. Currently, China has not yet widely used genetically modified products in planting of major grain crops such as wheat, corn, rice and soybean. The government also proposed in the document to accelerate seed industry consolidation through company merger and acquisition, and in the meantime encourage seed companies to cooperate with research institutes. It aims to develop large seed businesses with core competitiveness. China currently has about 7,000 seed companies, with the top 10 firms only accounting for an about 20 percent market share.

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