China must raise self-reliance in agricultural technology, says President Xi Jinping

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping wants China to accelerate efforts to achieve self-reliance in agricultural technology, identifying seed development and core equipment among areas to focus on, state media reported.

The central leadership had said in 2020 that the country’s seed industry was a weak link in the food chain and needed to make better use of science and technology to achieve a turnaround.

“It is necessary to keep an eye on the frontiers of the world’s agricultural science and technology,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying at the central rural work conference held in Beijing over Friday (Dec 23) and Saturday.

The president urged China’s agricultural sector to “vigorously improve” its science and technology, with more efficient innovation.

Xi urged the sector to address issues with innovation, such as the rate of conversion into commercial applications and a lack of cooperation between research teams.

China has invested large sums of money in basic research for agriculture but has few large commercial companies that invest in long-term research and development to bring innovative solutions to market.