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The Influence of a Sleeping Giant In 2004 China entered a new era in its approach to agricultural policy it has now begun a much needed subsidization program to help ailing farmers China introduced direct subsidies to farmers for the first time in the ancient countries existence More importantly China has begun to phase out its centuries old agricultural tax which crippled many small to medium sized farmers China will now subsidize seed and machinery purchases while increasing spending on rural infrastructure The affects that this will have on a global scale are not yet realized but the possibilities could become alarming to United States farmers China has a enormous supply of cheap labor and natural resources to become a true economic juggernaut with the added support of the government the future looks bright for this country According to the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2003 China produced 360000 metric tons of walnuts 25 of the worlds total production In addition the US which ranked second in total production was 70000 tons short of Chinas production These numbers represent an alarming trend for California walnut growers or United States walnut growers in general Walnut production is not the only crop that China dominates for example although China is the largest consumer of white rice in the world China produces an astonishing 1259 million tons however their nation consumes 13829 million tons nevertheless the United States in comparison grows 704 million tons of rice I show these statistics to show the natural resources that China occupies Chinas agriculture only represents 15 percent of the GDP because the majority of the countries income is based around technology and industry Chinas government now realizes that its farmers are a segment of society that needs a helping hand China is the largest of all the Asian countries in land mass and has the largest population in the world China occupies one fourteenth of the total land mass on
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