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Gov't Sets 7% Annual Growth Rate for Farm Produce Export
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China's Ministry of Commerce hopes to see the country's farm produce exports grow by at least 7 percent a year so that they will be worth US$38 billion by 2010.


Sources with the ministry's foreign trade department said that this "modest" objective would allow China to grow better quality farm produce and raise the sector's competitiveness in the world market.


China raked in US$27.2 billion from farm produce export last year, representing 3.6 percent of China's total exports and 3.2 percent of the world's farm produce trade. The exports account for 9.6 percent of the value added of China's agricultural industry official data revealed.


As the farm produce prices on world markets were much higher than domestic markets over the past two years, China's farm produce exports have been on the rise. Of the 30 staples monitored by the ministry, 20 registered a growth in 2005 according to a report from the foreign trade department.


For instance, the average export price for apples, pears, chickens, gingers, potatoes and carrots were four to five times higher than the domestic price last year. Chinese farmers were said to have raked in 1.89 billion yuan from garlic alone.


China has also set up a special fund to provide export credit insurance for domestic farmers. Last year, the insurance service has assisted the export of farm produce worth US$1.44 billion, twice as much as in 2004.


The report also revealed that more than 25 percent of farm produce exporters who had their credit insured last year engaged in risky poultry trade.


To facilitate China's farm produce export, the ministry also plans to release monthly reports for 14 other products and export guides on six additional regional markets this year including the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2006)

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