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China to focus on cold chain industry in five-year agri plan

BEIJING, Feb 19 (Reuters) -

* China will push for more cold-chain storage and logistic facilities for agricultural products in the next four years, according to a government document that was released late Monday

* Beijing will focus on constructing pre-cooling, storage and freshness-retaining infrastructure facilities in leading production regions, as part of its five-year plan to revitalise the agricultural sector by improving the quality of its produce

* It will also support logistics companies to diversify into building cold chain facilities, cold storage and refrigerated trucks

* The document did not specify what agriculture products the cold chain would serve, but the push came as Beijing promotes transportation of frozen meat products instead of live animals, partly to reduce risks of spreading animal disease

* China is battling the world's fastest spread African swine fever outbreak, and has reported about 100 cases of the disease in 25 provinces and regions since early August (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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