At the moment, the containment of the novel coronavirus is a top priority in China. While acting with full strength to contain the novel coronavirus, Chinese agricultural material manufacturers are worried about the imminent spring planting. Faced with the postponement of the start of work and the ongoing control of traffic, how can agricultural materials be distributed? How will agro-technical services be delivered to rural areas and ensure food security?
Some agricultural material manufacturers are appealing for the timely implementation of spring planting, which must continue as normal, because farming season waits for no one. This is as important as the containment of the novel coronavirus, as the problem of food security may cause a situation as dreadful as the novel coronavirus outbreak.
On January 30, SinoChem Group called on the government to look into the critical time of spring planting, which coincides with the time when all efforts are being made to contain the epidemic. Recently, due to the control of traffic in some rural areas, the transportation of agricultural products encountered the “last one kilometer delivery problem".
SinoChem issued a letter asking the government to treat agricultural materials as strategic materials and make available a “green channel” for the transportation of agricultural materials and agro-technical service-oriented farm machinery. The letter also requested the government to ensure the smooth transportation of agricultural materials via key ports and railways to support agricultural production activities during the farming season.
A number of enterprises say that the most-affected mode of transport at the moment is trucking, which is under strict control in all provinces, and even completely prohibited in some areas. In addition, drivers from some transport companies have not resumed work yet. Moreover, the cost of transport is much higher than in the past. Luckily, rail transport at the moment has not been affected much.
Hubei Province is experiencing a difficult transportation situation. At the moment, all rural roads in Hubei are blocked, thus cargo from other regions to Hubei have all been suspended. If this situation continues, there is a risk of failure to supply fertilizers during the peak spring planting time.
If the epidemic can be alleviated around February 10, there will not be a big impact on the market, although there may be a shortage of some products, which may mostly happen in Hubei. As a whole, prices may rise, but not by a big margin, which will stay in a balanced state in general.