In response to changing food demand, rapid urbanisation, and significant environmental constraints, the Chinese government is embarking on a fundamental reorganisation of China’s agricultural sector. Through a series of reforms it wants to create high-yield, environmentally-friendly farmland, to promote the scaling-up of farms into larger agglomerations, to improve the quality and safety of food, to promote greater mechanisation, and to enable a new generation of professional farmers. It also wants to encourage domestic agribusinesses to invest outside of China in the interests of food safety and food security.

These reforms will change the make-up of China’s trade in agricultural commodities. China is Australia’s most important export destination for agricultural primary products, a trade that will accelerate under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).  It is important that Australia better understand the implications of a changing agricultural sector in China, both in terms of trade and growing Chinese investment in Australian agribusiness.

To understand this changing environment and its implications for Australia, the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies is holding a conference to examine the policy and fiscal environment driving agricultural reforms and outward investment, and how the reorganisation of Chinese farms is playing out on the ground. This conference brings together leading experts from China, Australia and elsewhere to initiate a public discussion on the macro policy environment for agriculture, agrarian change and agricultural restructuring, and trade and investment.