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Chinese government to invest Rmb4.93bn in domestic agriculture

The state fund hopes to mobilise a further $2bn of investment into the industry from local funds and state governments.

China is setting up a fund to invest in agricultural industrialisation projects, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) last Monday. The move was made in an effort to secure economic growth and follows a range of other agri investment initiatives from the country this year.

The Rmb4.93 billion ($800 million; €710 million) fund, provided by the Chinese central government, will be used to finance a total of 4,238 agricultural projects, including 1,445 planting bases, 1,369 breeding bases and 914 product processing items, according to a press release.

Livestock breeding, grain and oil, as well as vegetables, will be prioritised for funding. The MOF said in a statement that the central fund will spur further investments of Rmb2.58 billion from local governments and Rmb10.39 billion  from self-raised funds and bank loans.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs China’s exports declined 2.8 percent year-on-year to Rmb1.17 trillion in May, while total foreign trade slipped 9.7 percent to Rmb1.97 trillion, marking continued pressure on the economy. Amid this economic slowdown, the Chinese government is beefing up its agricultural investments to secure economic growth, according to the press release.

Last week Chinese agribusiness company New Hope Liuhe partnered with International Finance Corp (IFC) to provide a package of $60 million to the Singaporean arm of the company to boost investments in agriculture and food businesses across 10 countries in South and South-East Asia.

Earlier in May, China signed a trade agreement worth of $27 billion with Brazil to investment in the country’s agriculture sector. The same month, Russian and Chinese government launched a $2 billion agricultural investment fund to creates an experimental trade-free zone for agricultural produce.