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BEIJING: China will stabilise grains acreage and expand production of soybeans and other oilseeds in the new year, state media reported late on Sunday, citing comments by the country’s central leadership during a policy meeting on agriculture.

Beijing also vowed to safeguard grain security, and ensure effective supplies of livestock, fish farming products and vegetables in 2022, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing comments made at the annual central rural work conference held over the weekend.

The reiteration of the country’s farming policy priorities comes mid lingering concern over food security in the world’s most populous country, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt food supply chains and logistics across the globe.

“Ensuring the supplies of primary products is a major strategic issue,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking before the two-day rural work conference.

“The Chinese people must hold its own food bowl firmly in its own hand at any time, with the bowl mainly filled with China’s grains,” Xi said, speaking at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Xinhua reported.

President Xi also urged protection of farmland and safeguarding grain acreage and output in both main production and consumption areas, according to Xinhua. Agricultural materials supplies and prices must be secured, Premier Li Keqiang said at a meeting of the State Council, or the cabinet, according to the same report.

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