BEIJING, CHINA — In a move to circumvent rising grain prices, China plans to increase its minimum purchase price for wheat and rice and expand corn planting area this year, Reuters reported.

It is part of the state economic planning agency strategy after food security concerns were raised due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ensuring that our people have enough food remains a top priority for our government,” said Premier Li Keqiang in his 2021work report. “We are resolved to ensure food security for our 1.4 billion people, and we know we can achieve this.”

The first time since 2014 China lifted the minimum price for wheat this year, Reuters reported.

Rising corn prices have forced animal feed mills to shift toward using more wheat, decreasing grain supplies.

China has decided to prioritize corn production by expanding planting area in 2021 and support the production of grains on barren lands, Reuters reported.