Financial Times reported this morning that according to Niu Dun, China’s deputy agriculture minister, Beijing will distance itself from nations such as Saudi Arabia and South Korea by choosing to depend on its own land for self-sufficiency in grain.  China is the world’s biggest agricultural economy and its largest consumer and producer of cereals.  The growing trend by some to snap up foreign farmland is seen as a response to last year’s spike in agricultural commodity prices and trade restrictions which lead some to question the long term viability of the global food market and to proactively seek alternatives.  For example, Pakistan is now offering 1m acres of farmland, to be protected by a special security force, for lease or sale.  Gulf Arab nations, heavily reliant on food imports, have reportedly expressed interest.

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