The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has selected close to 300 leading seed companies to form strong breeding clusters and advance the domestic seed industry. Grouped into 69 crop breeding companies, 86 animal breeding companies, and 121 aquatic breeding companies, these national champions will benefit from preferential access to finance and investment, land, human resources, joint research platforms, and technical guidance from agricultural research institutions. The move is expected to break R&D bottlenecks for the breeding of key crops, livestock, and aquatic products, thus strengthening the competitiveness of China’s domestic seed industry and meet food security goals.
Since early 2021, the government has issued a number of supportive policies such as improved protection of seed IPRs (intellectual property rights), advances in the breeding of genetically modified crops, and the expansion of research infrastructure to boost domestic seed innovation. The policies are intended to reduce reliance on high-yielding imported crop seeds and animal breeds and ramp up agricultural production capacity (see also DCZ study on the seed market in China). With land and water resources severely constrained, the seed sector is now considered one of the few areas that can still make breakthroughs.
Download the list of all selected seed champions here:
- 农业农村部办公厅关于扶持国家种业阵型企业发展的通知, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, http://www.moa.gov.cn/govpublic/nybzzj1/202208/t20220810_6406693.htm, (accessed 11 August 2022)
- 农业农村部有关负责人就《关于扶持国家种业阵型企业发展的通知》答记者问, Government of the People’s Republic of China, http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2022-08/08/content_5704641.htm, (accessed 11 August 2022)