SHANGHAI, September 23 (Itar-Tass) - China has acquired a 50-year lease for 3 million hectares of Ukraine’s farmlands, Huantsyu Shibao newspaper reported on Monday.
The agreement was signed between the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, known as XPCC, and Ukraine’s KGS Agro, the newspaper said.
At the first stage the Chinese side will lease 100,000 hectares in the Dnepropetrovsk region, eastern Ukraine. In the future the area of China’s leased farmlands, including the Kherson region and Crimea in southern Ukraine, will reach 3 million hectares. These lands will be used for growing agricultural cultures and cattle breeding. At the same time, the Chinese side takes obligations to implement several irrigation projects.
The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps was established by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the 1950s for resolving economic development tasks in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Now it controls a significant part of the region’s economy implementing large-scale agricultural and infrastructure projects.
Food security is one of China’s major problems. China’s population makes up one fifth of the world population. At the same time, China owns only 9% of the global farmlands.
China leases around 2 million hectares of farmlands abroad. The main obstacle for the Chinese companies’ implementation of large-scale agricultural projects in other countries is non-compliance of their phytosanitary, environmental and technological standards with those of foreign countries.