ASIA: China builds new grain distribution network

by Stormy Wylie
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BEIJING — China is developing a new grain distribution network with the aid of the World Bank, according to a recent article in China Grain & Oil.

The new grain system will cover 15 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and is expected to enable China to increase its grain distribution and transportation capabilities by millions of tonnes annually.

Construction of four grain distribution corridors in Beijing and Tianjin municipalities, the Yangtze River valley and southwest China is expected to be complete by the end of 2000.

The network would bring a "revolution" to China's system of grain distribution, the newsletter said, from transporting it in bags to more efficient means that are easier to load and unload.

China's vice-minister of agriculture also announced that the country would reduce grain acreage in 2000 by about 3 million hectares to 110 million hectares in an effort to restructure the production mix and improve crop quality.

Goals for China's agriculture and rural economy in 2000 include 490 million tonnes of grain, 3.2 million tonnes of cotton, 60 million tonnes of meat and a 4% increase in farmers' net income.