BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Grain production in China will increase for nine consecutive years with output set to rise this year, according to an official at the Caijing Annual Conference on Thursday.
Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Leading Group on Rural Work under the Central Committee of Communist Party of China, made the comments when speaking about grain security at the two-day conference in Beijing, which closes on Thursday.
Chen said that urbanization will be the engine that drives growth, but that the country has to guarantee grain security and supplies of important agricultural products with further expansion of urban areas.
He said that almost half of the world's exports of soy beans will be shipped to China this year.
Also, China has been the net import country of wheat, rice and corn, with total grain imports exceeding 60 million tonnes.
China has to continue to protect its arable land and boost agricultural productivity as its economic growth has outstripped the expansion of agriculture, according to Chen.
Chen said that with influx of rural residents into cities, the country has to pay close attention to the mobile population's shift of food demand as their lifestyles are also changing.
China's urbanization of land, according to Chen, is much faster than the urbanization of population, which has left many rural residents living in limbo.
China has to utilize land more efficiently and better safeguard farmers' legitimate rights through future reform, Chen said.