China buys up almost 3.5 million hectares of farmland to grow rice, wheat and maize

China has bought more than 3.4 million hectares (9.6 million acres) of land for cultivation, according to the country’s Agricultural Development Administration (ADA).

The country also plans to use more than 10 million hectares in 2016-2020 for production of rice and maize, the ADA said in a statement.

The ADA, in a report released on Wednesday, said China has been building rice and corn production capacity in a bid to boost its export-oriented economy.

The land purchase, it said, was part of China’s “big push” to develop agricultural production in order to “enable the country to maintain its competitive position” in global food markets.

China is building up its rice and other agricultural production capacity to meet the demands of the global food-related trade, the government said in the report.

The China Agricultural Export-Import Cooperation Agency (CaiADA) has said it will allocate around 1.5 billion yuan ($26.5bn) for development of rice, corn and soybean farming capacity in 2016.

China, the world’s second-largest grain exporter, has been investing heavily in its rice industry since the early 2000s, as demand for the grain rose following the financial crisis.

Its rice-growing capacity is estimated to reach more than 100 million hectares, according a 2015 report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In recent years, China has also started growing maize and wheat, the first crops to be grown on its land.

The country has also been making investments in the fields of wheat and rice.