China eyes national markets to stabilize food prices

China will establish national-grade agricultural markets in production regions in 2013 to prevent turbulence in farm produce prices.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to initiate construction on seven national markets next year as pricing and distribution centers and places for information and technology exchanges, according to a national conference on agriculture held here Friday.

The move is expected to tackle the sharp price fluctuations seen in some farm produce items like Chinese cabbage and green onion in recent years.

The ministry is also scheduled to set up regional and village-level markets and form a price monitoring and alert system.

In 2012, China’s grain yield increased to 589.57 million tonnes, marking the ninth consecutive year of growth, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

However, Minister of Agriculture Hang Changfu warned of new challenges facing the industry, citing surging labor and material costs, rising land rentals and increasing financing difficulty.

The ministry will roll out a series of favorable policies in the next year, such as encouraging industrial and commercial enterprises to invest in the agricultural sector, improving the price protection mechanism and promoting the deep-processing of farm produce, he said.

Xinhua