Farmers expect more agricultural exports to RCEP countries
By Zhou Jiaxin
Dong Jianbao has farmed spring onions for almost two decades in Linghe County, east China's Shandong Province.
This year, though the coronavirus epidemic and summer floods threatened his yield, the 46-year-old has never been busier.
COVID-19, fewer plantations and more floods have lessened agricultural yields in China, with prices of everyday commodities like spring onion and ginger rising in recent months.
The market has given these farmers great prices, Dong said, noting they are looking to further increase cultivated areas next season.
"I plan to reduce the planting area for green onion from this year's 50 acres and increase other areas," he said.
Many farmers were unsure about cultivation plans years ago, encountering poor sales of quality vegetables. Now, local wholesale traders lend them a hand by planned orders from countries like Japan and South Korea.
"We sign contracts with farmers upon these foreign orders," said Jia Guoliang, general manager of Anqiu Huihai Food Co., Ltd. "This grants them certain plans, stable sales and prices."
Prior to deep processing and delivery, local food traders are able to stock plenty of exported everyday vegetables, especially ginger from potential providers across the country.
"In Anqiu, we have at least a hundred agricultural exporters," said Wang Shunming, deputy chief of Anqiu Agricultural Bureau. "Products are flowing in this industrial cluster to meet international demand."
"Our South Korean partners are leading companies who estimate more imports from us, particularly Chinese cabbage to make kimchi," the food trader said. "Japan is also preparing for the Tokyo Olympics."
The local agricultural agency said Anqiu became China's first exporter of ginger to New Zealand this year, one of the 14 Asia Pacific countries that just signed a trade pact with the country.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, is creating the world's largest trading bloc.
"When the deal takes effect, we will have more countries to export to," the agricultural agency said. "Their differentiated requirements will help advance our food quality and security."
Local exporters are also encouraged to keep an eye on domestic market, a strategy that China promotes to drive and sustain consumption and growth.
(Cover: Bundles of green onion stacked for export to Japan at a food company in Anqiu, Shandong Province, east China. /CGTN)