15 Mar 2014

Issues of Plant Edible Oil Consumption and Production in China

There were some issues of plant edible oil supply and productions are existed in China in recent years. At first, the edible oil supply security has become critical. Data showed that the annual plant edible oil consumption in the country was over 30 million tons in 2013, but only about 1/3 of them were produced in China and 2/3 of them were imported from other countries. From 1993 to 2013, China’s plant edible oil consumption has greatly increased from 7.63 million tons to 30.814 million tons, and the annual plant edible oil consumption per person has significantly increased from 6.4 kg to 22.8 kg. It was higher than the average level (20 kg per person) of the world. At the same time, China’s oil crop planting area and total plant edible oil production were fixed on 22 million ha and 10 million tons, almost have no changes.

The main reasons of farmers don’t want to plant oil crops include: ① No economic benefit. At present, the average total cost (include seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) of traditional rapeseed farming was RMB 2,775/ha (1USD=6.2 RMB) with labor cost RMB 12,000/ha in China, but total income was RMB 13,500/ha, no profit for rapeseed farming if we take labor cost into consideration. ② Labor shortage. In general, planting one ha of rapeseed needs 10 days/labor, but most of the rural labors have moved to city and no longer to do farming in recent years. At present, in China’s rapeseed farming, only 37% of land was ploughed by machines, 20% of land was sowing by machines and 16% of the land was harvested by machines. Therefore, large number of labors is still needed in traditional rapeseed production in the country.

Rapeseed is one of the most important oil crops in China, to promote its production, the Oil crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science developed a high efficient rapeseed production model titled “Whole mechanized operation for rapeseed production”in recent years and demonstrated in 2014, across several provinces such as Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi. In this model, 9 improved technologies were included, such as new rapeseed varieties with better density for machine operation, new fertilization and pesticide use technologies, etc. The demonstration results from the field activity that organized in middle of May in Hubei province showed that in this model, the rapeseed yield increased 16.7%, net profit reached RMB 10,050/ha.

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