Beijing Looking To Lease Foreign Farmland

China has already gone abroad to secure supplies of energy and minerals by investing in mines and oil fields, so why not do the same for food? The Beijing Morning Post quotes Xie Guoli, a senior trade promotion official with the agriculture ministry, as saying that China is looking at leasing farmland in Russia, South America and Australia.

China already has rice farm joint ventures in Cuba and Mexico. High international grain prices could be pushing Beijing to consider doing the same on a larger scale and for more foods. How seriously it is pursuing the idea remains to be seen, but there is one reason for doing so beyond high import prices.

Very big, China, as Noel Coward famously said, but it is also running out of farm land. Arable land was reduced by 40,700 hectares to 121.7 million hectares last year, mainly because of urbanization. That is close to the minimum of 120 million hectares Beijing has said it regards as needed.

3 Comments

Filed under Economy

3 responses to “Beijing Looking To Lease Foreign Farmland

  1. Miscel

    Question: Who is responsible for the environment, the leasee or the leaser ?

  2. chinabystander

    This hasn’t got beyond the kite-flying stage so there are no lease agreements to look at that would provide an answer to your question. Perhaps another reader with legal knowledge could weigh in on what typically happens with farm leases in this regard.

  3. Pingback: China Is Also Buying More From US Farmers Because It Needs To | China Bystander

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