BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhuanet) — China may surpass the US as the world’s largest seed market next year as commercialization in the seed industry accelerates. These comments come from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences just before the World Seed Congress kicks off in Beijing on Monday.

The world seed congress is here for the first time in China—a premier annual gathering where the industry comes to exchange ideas to better crop harvesting. Organizers say that this comes as an opportunity to tackle food safety, an issue that is closely related to people’s health and quality of their lives.

“Getting the right seed is a crucial part for agriculture production. As people’s life quality improve they require better tasting vegetables and fruits. With import and technology innovation we have been upgrading our seeds in the past few decades.” Zhang Lingjun, senior agronomist with Beijing Agriculture Technology Extension Centre, said.

With China, eager to better its food production, effort was ploughed into upgrading seed yield, quality and expanding volume. Just on Sunday the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences forecast that the country’s seed market volume will surge to 14.2 billion US dollars next year. That will make it the number one seed market globally. And more stock would likely translate into large volumes of seeds for exports.

China has been working to boost its seed industry, not only to feed its own population but also to trade overseas…with international platforms like this, it hopes to learn and exchange skills and knowledge in order ensure its stock growth and better food quality.

And as many in the industry increasingly gain new techniques from abroad, they quickly apply that knowledge to China’s specialities.

“China enjoys a vast natural resource of edible mushrooms in the south so it’s very easy to breed new seed varieties. Our technology in this area is quite advanced. So far China’s mushroom export accounts for more than 20 percent of the world total.”Wu Shangjun, senior agronomist with Beijing Agriculture Technology Extension Centre, said.

But even as the industry develops, the country is still facing challenges in seed production. In the past three years, authorities found nearly 20,000 cases of fake and inferior seeds. Experts say insufficient innovation and loopholes in seed management still hamper the seed industry’s development.