Soon, I will be leaving on a jet plane going all the way to China! I will be going with about 15 other College of Agriculture students and Kansas State faculty and staff for about 11 whole days! We will be visiting the cities of Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai.
One of the reasons I am so excited to go is because of China’s great economic growth in the last thirty years or so. China now trades with about 231 countries and regions. Including the European Union, the United States, the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, Japan, and the BRIC countries. Some of their growing international agriculture companies contributing to international trade include Cargill and Smithfield. Trade has changed immensely from the days of the historic Silk Road that connected China to east and west countries.
As the economy grows and people’s incomes rise in China, the higher the demand for meat and dairy products. There are 6 different types of dairy cows in China that produce 7.4 tons of milk on an average farm. The average consumption of beef is 11.4 pounds and China consumes over 52 million tons of pork annually. Even though beef and pork consumption is growing, poultry is still a large portion of meat consumption in China. China is noticing this increase in demand. As a result, China has been improving and expanding on the domestic production of meat animals. One significant thing they have done in order to meet this growing demand is the purchase of Smithfield. They want to learn how to mass produce meat animals, like pork, and they want that product now. Therefore, I personally think agriculture has been one of the factors boosting China’s economy.
Looking at the grain side, sixty percent of all soybean domestic trade goes to China. Much like other products, imports of soybeans has risen and is projected to rise to 90 million tons. In 2011, over half of the United States’ soybean export went to China. A prominent crop to China is rice that makes up 28.9% of production. Two other agriculture products unique to China is silk and tea. Silk production started in China and is made from the Mulberry Silkworm. Today, China is the world’s largest producer of silk. Tea is especially important to China since the country consumes a large amount of it. Tea is one of the only crops that is picked by hand
to preserve its high quality.
Isn’t this growth ah-maze-ing!!!
Don’t worry though, we won’t be working so hard that we won’t have any fun. We will also be visiting the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the night markets just to name a few! If you want to keep up on our trip, please follow my blog in May that can be found on the Kansas State’s, Ag Economics Department’s website. It is going to be a once in a lifetime experience, so you won’t want to miss out!