Agriculture minister Han Changfu said Friday [10 October 2014] that Chinese people should keep their “rice bowls” in their own hands to ensure food security, as massive grain imports will be unsustainable for the nation. In his article published by the Qiushi Journal, the flagship magazine of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Han said the task to ensure food security remains difficult given the country’s population of 1.3 billion and tight grain supply…Full Article: China Daily Oct 2014

Key Points

  • From January to July 2014, China imported approximately 11.34 million metric tons of grains, an 80% increase from 2013 figures.
  • According to China’s Minister of Agriculture, by 2020 the country’s demand for grains will reach 700 million MTs. In 2013, China produced nearly 602 million MTs of grains. In general, the country has the stated goal of cultivating at least 120 million hectares of farmland (~106 million ha must be grains).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In March 2014, Han Changfu publicly endorsed the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • The Chinese government has the stated policy goal of achieving 95% self-sufficiency in grain production (corn, wheat, and rice). In 2004, the government introduced minimum prices for selected grains, initiated direct payments to grain producers, and applied subsidies for the purchase of higher quality grain and soybean seeds and selected machinery. In general, grain production is less profitable than many other types of farming (i.e. fruits and vegetables), but the government incentives its production through direct payments to farmers and other support programs.  For instance, in 2009, direct payments to farmers for grain production averaged $129 per hectare.

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