Evolution of beef consumption and production in China

Beef consumption in China has risen sharply since the economic reform and open economy policy in the late 1970s. However, a true industry with organized professionals has not yet been formed. In addition, the volume of production has increased, but with difficulty. The slowing down in production growth in recent years has led to a sharp rise in beef prices. This is due to a low productivity, which can be explained by many problems faced by traditional farming in China. These problems induce a continuous deterioration of the herd of reproductive cows. The latter is due to the dispersion of the small farms, the sharp reduction in needs of animal traction, the poor development of forage resources, the lack of technical skills and knowledge of small farmers, and finally to delays in the genetic improvement of local breeds.
This article is aimed at providing an overview of beef production in China and of its prospects in becoming a more organized industry. The actions that have to be implemented with the support of French researchers and professionals will be exposed. This will be done in the context of bilateral cooperation for the development of beef production in China.