Global efforts to ensure food security


Feeding the world: Villagers drying corn in Zhangye, Gansu province in September. China has fed nearly 20% of the world’s total population with just 9% of the world’s farmland. — China Daily/ANN

BEIJING: China will intensify international cooperation with other countries to jointly fight hunger and ensure global food security, said a white paper.

The country will also continue to expand and diversify sources of food imports to balance its own food security, said the white paper titled Food Security in China, released by the State Council Information Office.

China has fed nearly 20% of the world’s total population with just 9% of the world’s farmland and 6% of the world’s total freshwater resources, Zhang Wufeng, head of the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, said at a news conference.

While China’s population accounts for nearly one-fifth of the world’s total, its food production accounts for a quarter of the world’s total, according to the white paper.

Per capita grain output in China is 470kg, a rise of 14% compared with 1996, and a rise of 126% compared with 1949, it said.

“We will continue the efforts to ensure China’s food security so the rice bowl remains firmly in our own hands,” Zhang said.

In the meantime, China has been intensifying international cooperation in food and agriculture and opening up its domestic food market, especially since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the white paper said.

Last year, China imported about 116 million metric tonnes of grains, including 88 million metric tonnes of soybeans, more than nine times the amount in 1996, it said.

“China will keep opening up and intensifying international cooperation in food and agriculture,” said Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, adding that China is willing to share with other countries its experiences in improving food security.

“We hope to see hunger and poverty eradicated from the world as soon as possible,” Su said.

By the end of 2016, China had helped more than 50 countries in Africa to carry out nearly 500 agricultural assistance programmes, covering areas including farming, grain storage, agricultural machinery and agricultural product processing. — China Daily/ANN

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