Chinese authorities are being urged to support the development of the soybean industry to retain a dining tradition based on plant food, complemented by animal food, National Business Daily reported Tuesday. In a food and nutrition development document for 2014-2020 issued Monday by the General Office of the State Council, it was noted that as meat-eating culture grows in China, mainly spurred by foreign fast-food chains, Chinese people have been gradually changing their eating habits. That has led to more plantation of corn to meet the needs of the animal husbandry industry. Meanwhile, soybean production has lagged. China imported a record 63.38 million metric tons of soybean last year, up 8.6 percent from 2012. That came as Heilongjiang province, a top soybean producing region in the country, has seen its plantation area cut by half to 31.05 million mu (20.7 billion square meters) last year from a peak of 63.23 million mu in 2005, the report noted.
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