Food Shortages Loom in China as Farmers Face ‘Production Crisis’ amid Pandemic
Authorities locked down the entire province of Jilin
Videos from Jilin Province have shown police interrupting farmers working in the fields throughout China amid the COVID-19 lockdown as food shortages loom.
Analysts have warned the crisis is beyond fallow fields, viable seeds and fertilizers are the real crisis Chinese farmers are facing.
Jilin is a crucial processing and production region for the country’s cereals.
From 14 March, authorities locked down the entire province.
Twenty-four million people have been affected by the lockdown, threatening the national food supply.
As Zerohedge reported:
On April 6, Jilin authorities claimed that more than 80 percent of seeding sheds covering 19,768 acres of land were ready to safeguard the spring plowing, and over 90 percent of corn and soybean seeds had been delivered.
But videos showed farmers from various parts of the country were removed as they plowed the fields by local police for violating lockdowns.
The Epoch Times managed to reach one local seed company to confirm the official line on the readiness of seeds.
As the outlet reported:
The staff member said the company had been closed since the lockdown in early March. “In the pandemic, everyone is staying at home for the PCR test,” she said, adding that she didn’t know when business would resume.
Liu is a Chinese journalist who requested anonymity. He believes the lack of viable seeds is more severe than the restrictions during lockdown.
“Seeds and fertilizer are the two main things for spring plowing.
"But China’s viable grain seeds come in at a high price.”
Liu says many Chinese farmers have become victims of the opaque procurement practice in China.
Some even had near-zero harvests because of bad seeds.
He added the seeds are controlled by foreign entities, and they are very expensive.
“The farmers no longer keep the good seeds from the previous harvest like in the old days,” he said.
“Foreign companies control the technology of the seeds that come into China. Some domestic seed companies, completely out of touch with modern seed technology, even sold inferior seeds which they claimed as self-bred seeds. As a result, the farmers had a poor harvest.”
Liu blamed the many Chinese crop seed producers for the problems with the seeds.
Over the years, Chinese farmers have suffered economic loss owing to bad seeds.
In one 2019 Chinese media report, a case of inferior seeds cost 205 farmers in Jiangxi Province around $726,000 loss, totaling 800 acres of fields.
In 2020, fake seeds led to no harvest in a 279-acre field involving 40 farmers in Inner Mongolia.
Chen Weijian is the chief editor of the Chinese human rights magazine Beijing Spring.
He indicated the lockdowns would seriously affect the price and production of fertilizers and pesticides.
“Without pesticides and fertilizers, there’s no productivity in the Chinese soil,” he said.
“I believe that the food crisis in China will become more prominent in two or three years,” he added, referring to the massive loss of farming land over the years of government-led rural land expropriation.