China Dumps Grain Policy to Boost Meat Production

February 19, 2014 | Grain

For decades, China's rulers deemed grain production a linchpin to its national security. The policy of self-sufficiency was a legacy of its planned economy from the days of Mao when China was increasingly isolated from the outside world.

But China's communist founders couldn't have predicted the nation's dizzying rise in meat consumption, which has grown nearly ten-fold to 71 million metric tons since 1975.

That's why China has been increasingly importing grains such as soybeans and corn from the U.S. and Brazil to boost its livestock population. Grain self-sufficiency was becoming like communist dogma in China: more a theory than a practice.

Then last week, Beijing called it quits by...

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