The shares of Chinese foodstuff producers are down 5.9% in the past 24 hours to a fresh low, as the market struggles with the sharp drop in commodity prices.
Shares of the country’s largest farmers fell by 6.6% in early trading after the Chinese central bank issued its first cashless payment to farmers in the country.
“We are seeing a sharp fall in the value of our foodstacks,” said Zhang Qishan, chief executive of the China Food Supply Association.
Farmers are facing an uncertain future with Chinese officials pushing for a new system that will allow farmers to sell their stocks at a discount, with no need for a bank account.
This comes as China is pushing for food safety rules to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, which have been increasing.
According to the China Agricultural Statistics Institute, about 2.5 million farmers lost money during the year.
The government has also said it wants to reduce food wastage, but many of these efforts have failed, leading to a growing food crisis.
More: “I think the situation is very dire, it is very serious,” said Wang Yang, a farmer in Shaanxi province, who did not want to give his surname for fear of reprisals from the authorities.
Wang said he lost money on crop-dumping during the crisis and that he had to sell his corn and soybeans.
“I hope my crop is not spoiled in the end, but it will be hard,” he said.
China’s farmers have been losing billions of dollars in revenue to pay for new regulations, which were implemented in January to reduce corruption and improve the government’s reputation in the global financial market.
In February, China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced that it was lifting a ban on foreign foodstamp payments, saying it had been needed to ensure the country had enough cash to purchase essential commodities such as wheat and rice.
But China’s food stocks have fallen sharply in recent months.
The central bank has now issued its largest cashless payments since 2012, and China’s main stock exchange has announced it will suspend foreign exchange purchases by government-owned companies. Reuters