Headline News: Food Security Crisis Is Imminent
Is China’s food crisis imminent?
Recently, food security has been listed as the first major
issue to be tackled at the CCP Economic Work Conference,
the Central Rural Work Conference as well as in the published
“No. 1 Central Document" on Sunday.
Analysts believe that behind the emphasis on food security
lies a sharp increase in food imports, signaling the imminence
of the Chinese food crisis.
On Jan. 19, Chinese authorities announced that the No.1
Central Document, the customary first official document
of the new year, listed food security as the top priority.
The improvement of the national food security system
in 2014 was also stressed in the document.
At the CCP Economic Work Conference which was held
between Dec. 10 and 13 of last year, effectively ensuring
food security was listed as the top task of six major tasks.
The CCP has come up with a slogan to illustrate its goals –
“grain self-sufficiency, absolute security of food rations".
Ran Bogong, University of Toledo professor Emeritus:
“In the past, China had a large agriculture industry.
Since food is China’s first necessity, self-sufficiency
and adequate amounts of food are most important,
emphasis is placed on the importance of agriculture."
But the CCP media has declared that “China’s grain
output has risen for the 10th consecutive year" and
“China can achieve grain self-sufficiency".
The CCP’s frequent emphasis on food security
has attracted the public’s attention.
Director of CCP Crop Cultivation Department Zeng Yande
said that although grain production has risen for the 10th
straight year, tight food supplies will persist with the grain
demand increase, which is now at 100 million tons per year.
Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Jason Wang,
a Chinese national in Germany, pointed out that China’s
farmland continues to diminish due to a large number
of land acquisitions, ecological restorations,
agricultural structural adjustments as well as
natural disasters, pollution and other issues.
Germany-based Dr. Jason Wang, Ph.D. of Materials Science:
“A significant amount of farmland was requisitioned
There are increasingly less farmers, many heavily polluting
enterprises move to rural areas from big cities
and discharge a large amount of industrial
wastewater without treatment."
Jason Wang pointed out that not only does the waste threaten
the safety of the drinking water, it enters the food chain via
irrigation, resulting in a greatly diminished grain production
industry and a continually dropping self-sufficiency rate.
China Agricultural Bioengineering scholar Mr. Zhang:
“The food problem will never be solved
if soil and water pollution are not solved.
To resolve soil and water pollution, the state environmental
supervision and inspection departments have to inspect.
However, the CCP environmental protection department
hasn’t done anything in the past decade.
By the end of last year, an investigation by the CCP Ministry
of Land and Source showed that about 3.33 million
hectares (about 5,000 acres) of agricultural land are unusable
due to heavy pollution.
In 2011, the CCP State Council Development Research
Center had predicted that Chinese grain imports would
increase to 22.24 million tons in 2020,
up by 416 million tons since 1997.
However, China’s total food imports reached over
70 million tons in 2012.
Citing the estimates by the research department,
Finance magazine pointed out that based on 2010 cotton,
oil and grain imports, the number of China’s agricultural
imports is equal to the use of 700 million mu’s of foreign
cultivated land, or, the whole of Heilongjiang province.
In October 2010, a China Food Science and Technology
reporter found that not only have the CCP central granaries
been mostly emptied, the state-owned granaries and the
privately owned granaries in the Northeast are nearly empty.
In his article, “China’s Largest Catastrophe Cannot Be
Avoided" the father of hybrid rice, academician
Yuan Longping, said a food crisis can’t be avoided
and a social crisis could erupt at any time.
His article revealed that China’s grain self-sufficiency rate
is only 80 percent and China imports more than 80 percent
of its edible oil.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that drought
would cause a decline in U.S. corn and soybean production.
China will be heavily impacted by this because its import
of this type was more than 6 million tons in 2011.
China’s Food and Agriculture warned that another
possible food crisis will break out.
Yuan Longping said cannibalism, starvation,
and homelessness may be inevitable.
It can occur at any time, anywhere.
Interview & Edit/LiYun Post-Production/ZhongYuan