Photo taken on May 27, 2021 shows a self-propelled sprayer at work at a farm in Heihe, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province. (Xinhua/Lu Wenxiang)
HARBIN, March 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese soybean farmer Du Zhentao is buying soybeans and plans to double its soybean planting area.
Du, in his 50s, lives in Hailun, known as China’s main quality soybean producing region, in Heilongjiang province. He plans to grow more than 20,000 mu (about 1,333 hectares) of soybeans this year.
Heilongjiang, the country’s main soybean production base, has set a goal to add 10 million mu of soybean planting area this year to increase production. The province’s soybean planting area accounts for more than 40 percent of the country’s total.
Last week, the National Development and Reform Commission detailed tasks to boost agricultural production, calling for vigorous efforts to expand the planting of soybeans and oilseeds to effectively stabilize and increase agricultural production rates. self-sufficiency in cereals.
Yuan Zhiquan, a farmer from Suiling County in Heilongjiang, frequents seed shops to select soybeans for spring sowing these days.
“The soybean growers I know are all planning to increase production this spring, as they are optimistic about the harvest,” Yuan said.
Seed companies recorded robust sales.
“Sales of soybeans have risen sharply this year,” said Zhang Zhiting, general manager of Heilongjiang Shengfeng Seed Co., Ltd., a seed wholesaler.
The company has sold over 15,000 tons of soybeans so far this spring, already exceeding last spring’s total sales volume, and the end of the seed sales season is still over a month away. .
Hailun City plans to add 120,000 mu of soybean planting area this year as farmers can benefit from the country’s policies supporting the expansion of soybean planting and take advantage of an expected spike in soybean prices. according to Yao Hongwei, head of the Hailun municipal department of agriculture and rural affairs.
China has also launched pilot projects to turn paddy fields into drylands in Heilongjiang to divert rice to planting soybeans, especially in areas where farmers overly rely on groundwater exploitation for irrigation. agricultural.
“My rice field is relatively low. I pumped ground water for irrigation, and the rice production was not good. I turned the paddy field into dry land last fall to prepare it for soybean cultivation this year,” said Yin Tiezhu, a farmer from Yuquan Village, Hailun, who cultivated 120 mu of rice last year. .
Apart from the northeastern part of the country, the central government has also moved to expand the planting of corn and soybeans in its eastern, northwestern and southwestern regions, with the aim of ensuring national self-sufficiency of soybean supply for the manufacture of edible soybean products.
Meanwhile, efforts have been made to strengthen soybean breeding to increase the yield, quality and disease resistance of the crop. Heilongjiang agricultural authorities recommended 23 new soybean varieties to breeders this spring.
It is necessary for China, as the world’s largest importer and consumer of soybeans, to stimulate farmers’ enthusiasm for planting soybeans and increase soybean production capacity, which will help raise the country’s level of self-sufficiency for culture and better ensure food security, said Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. ■