Expert Analysis Puts Forward: to Deal With the Global Food Crisis at Both Ends of the Supply and Demand

Release Date:2022-06-25 enlarge

  Recently, the China Society of Agricultural Risk Management held an online seminar on how to achieve China's food security and supply of important agricultural products against the backdrop of century-old changes and overlapping epidemics in the 21st century and the complex international situation. Yin Chengjie, former Vice Minister of Agriculture and special researcher of Counsellors' Office of the State Council, Zhang Hongyu, president of China Agricultural Risk Management Society, and other leaders of relevant departments of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs attended the conference.

  The meeting noted that global food security is facing a severe situation. On the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in the global supply chain, resulting in an imbalance between food supply and demand and an increase in the number of hungry people in the world. On the other hand, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has become the "gray rhino" that triggered the world food crisis, severely affecting the wheat production chain and directly leading to the rise of international grain and oil.

  Yin said China has the ability to cope with the global food crisis. In recent years, China's grain production has achieved a "bumper harvest" in 18 consecutive years, with annual grain output exceeding 500 million metric tons for seven consecutive years, strengthening the foundation of the granaries of a major country. From the perspective of per capita occupancy, China's per capita possession of grain reached 480 kg, far exceeding the international food safety standard line of 400 kg per capita; from the perspective of stock, China's grain stock is about 40%, far exceeding the world average of 17% to 18%. In terms of grain rations, the self-sufficiency rate of rice, wheat and corn has reached more than 90%, basically self-sufficient in grain and absolutely safe in grain rations.

  Experts attending the meeting believe that to cope with rising international food prices and relieve pressure on the supply of important agricultural products, China should not only maintain strategic focus and secure China's livelihood, but also timely assess the global food security and trade situation from an international perspective. At the moment, we should focus on three aspects: 一, we should base ourselves on the domestic market, coordinate the steady production of grain with the expansion of soybean and oilseed production, and expand the development space of big food. 二, store grain in neighboring countries, coordinate the international grain market, stabilize overseas grain sources and diversify imports. 三, taking a long-term view and improving agricultural support and protection policies in the new stage that are in line with China's national conditions and WTO rules.

  The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said that China's food security needs to be strengthened at both supply and demand. On the supply side, we should consolidate and enhance production capacity, increase domestic supply, and cope with the uncertainty of the external environment with the stability of domestic supply. 一, we should support the granary strategy, and implement the grain storage strategy in the field and the grain storage in technology. 二, we will establish a mechanism to ensure food security and ensure that farmers can earn more money from growing grain. 三, we will vigorously promote the socialization of grain production services and mechanization of grain production, and address the problems of small-scale cultivation and low productivity. At the demand side, efforts should be made to save grain and water and reduce the pressure on the supply side: 一, reduce the proportion of protein in feed, promote the substitution of protein raw materials and reduce soybean consumption; 二, reduce the consumption of edible vegetable oil and reduce the supply pressure of oil crops.

  Zhang said, in the long run, we need to pay close attention to China's food security. From the domestic point of view, with the advancement of urbanization and continuous population growth, China's food demand will still be rigid growth in the future.