Heilongjiang to boost soybean output with higher subsidy, GMO adoption

China’s largest soybean and corn growing region Heilongjiang province is looking to further boost soybean production in the area via a series of measures including higher subsidies for farmers and the adoption of more GMO types of soybeans.

This plan comes after China reported a new record level of domestic soybean production in 2022 thanks to improvements in both yield and total planting areas.

The goal to further expand soybean output in Heilongjiang province remains consistent for 2023, according to a recent announcement from the provincial Agricultural Science Academy.

The top measure is for the government to provide farmers with higher subsidies if they choose to plant soybeans. The level of subsidy for soybean planting is to increase from 248 yuan per mu (USD 547 per hectare) to 320 yuan per mu (USD 706 per hectare).

“To maintain and increase the motivation and viability of producers to grow soybeans, and enable soybean producers to increase their income through the policy,” the academy said regarding the purpose of higher subsidies.

On top of the direct subsidies, the provincial government in Heilongjiang will also raise the insurance coverage for crops from 45% in 2022 to 60% to lower the price risk for farmers, meaning that the government will pay for the majority cost of growing soybeans.

In addition, China is also targeting a wider adoption of GMO soybeans to be planted domestically which the country has refused to do so.

GMO soybeans have a higher average yield than non-GMO types in China. Hence, the adoption of GMO beans in China could increase output with higher yield even if the total planting area is unchanged.