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Vice Minister of Agriculture: China, India Not to Blame for Grain Crisis

It is wrong to blame developing nations, China and India for the current global grain crisis.

Niu Dun, vice minister of agriculture, made those remarks Saturday at a seminar on grain security at the ongoing 2008 Summer Davos Forum held in this northern metropolis.

He said an energy shortage and cost increases for agricultural production are the root factors behind the grain shortage.

Developing economies, which include China, have recorded significant deficit in world farm produce trade and increasing export costs. As a result, agricultural production has been adversely affected and farmers incomes squeezed in these nations and regions.

Besides, Niu added, climate changes worldwide caused by the industrialization also impacted global agricultural production.

He noted that the impact of bio-energy development on agriculture should also not be ignored.

The Chinese Government disapproves of producing bio-fuels with maize, soybean and other cereal crops as raw materials.

However, China encourages agricultural wastes and some natural resources to be fully used to produce bio-fuels but not at the expense of forests, rain forests and the ecological system at large, Niu added.

But according to Niu, the nation will not achieve energy security at the cost of grain security.

In rural areas, China makes use of stalks, animal excrement, agricultural wastes and domestic sewage to generate electricity.

Meanwhile, clover and sugar cane have been grown for bio-fuel production, Niu said.

Such renewable energy projects as small hydro power, wind power and solar power plants are being built nationwide, he added.

As a beneficiary of international grain aid 30 years ago, China now exports up to 20 million tons of grain every year, Niu pointed out.

More than 1,500 entrepreneurs, politicians and scholars from 90-plus nations and regions attended the 2008 Summer Davos meeting which was scheduled to be held from September 27 to 28.

(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2008)

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