BEIJING, CHINA — A new joint venture between COFCO International, China’s largest food and agricultural company, and SinoGrain, China’s state grain reserves stockpiler, will officially begin operations in January, Reuters reported, citing a COFCO statement.

The China Enterprise United Grain Reserve Co. Ltd. was established in September, according to the COFCO statement on its public WeChat account, and is part of the country’s efforts to improve the efficiency of its grain reserves and better ensure food security.

The new unit will bring together SinoGrain’s reserve management and COFCO’s warehousing resources and be 51% owned by SinoGrain.

China is a net agricultural importer and buys soybeans, corn, wheat and other grains from global markets to stock its state reserves, the largest in the world. Food security and self-sufficiency have become driving goals of the government to ensure adequate supplies for its 1.4 billion people.