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China approves GM corn, soy seeds to boost crop production

Move supports Xi Jinping’s push for food self-sufficiency and security.

Corn Kathas Fotos Pixabay
Kathas Fotos |

In order to boost domestic production and reduce dependence on global grain imports, China has approved dozens of genetically modified (GM) corn and soybean seed varieties for planting.

Bloomberg reports that large-scale marketing of GM crops would support the government’s drive for food self-sufficiency and security, a top priority for President Xi Jinping.

A national committee set up by the agriculture ministry has approved 37 GM corn seed and 14 soybean seed varieties.

In 2021, China started a pilot program for commercial planting of GM corn and soybean crops and has since expanded the trial to 20 counties in five provinces including major grain producers Hebei and Jilin.

The acreage designated for planting the GM crops is still very small, however, reaching just 4 million mu (267,000 hectares) this year. GM seeds could increase yield in China by as much as 12%, said the ministry.

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