BEIJING (Dow Jones)–China is targeting an 8% rise in grain production capacity by 2015 from 2010 levels and has kept unchanged its 95% grain self-sufficiency rate target, the Ministry of Agriculture said Friday.
The world’s largest grain consumer is facing challenges in stabilizing grain production amid rising demand and declining arable area due to rapid urbanization.
Grain output reached 546.4 million metric tons in 2010, rising for the seventh year in a row, and China is now aiming at an annual capacity of more than 540 million tons in the 12th Five-Year Plan [2011-2015], from around 500 million tons in 2010, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
"Guaranteeing supply of grain and other major agricultural products will remain top priority [between 2011 and 2015]," it said.
The government also aims to maintain grain acreage above 1.07 billion hectares by 2015, compared with actual acreage of 1.1 billion hectares last year.
Demand for corn is growing faster than domestic supply of the most popular animal feed, amid a rise in meat consumption.
China has reportedly bought more than 3 million tons of corn from the U.S. so far this year to replenish reserves, more than twice the total imports in 2010. Its annual corn output is around 180 million tons.
It is also aiming to boost cotton output to more than 7 million tons in 2015 compared with actual output of 5.96 million tons in 2010, the ministry said. China is the world’s largest cotton importer.
The ministry said the country’s 2015 oilseed output target would be 35 million tons compared with 32.3 million tons in 2010, in its attempt to stabilize edible oil self-sufficiency rate at about 40%.
China’s edible oil self-sufficiency is only 37%, industry data showed.
Output of sugar crops, which include sugar cane and sugar beets, is expected to reach 140 million tons compared with actual output of 120 million tons in 2010.
The ministry said it aims to raise meat output–including pork, beef and poultry–to 85 million tons in 2015 from 79.3 million tons in 2010.