Food production increases steadily in China

(Photo/The Economic Daily)

China’s food production has maintained a healthy trend toward stable growth. In 2019, the country’s summer grain output reached 141.8 billion kilograms, underpinning the sufficient supply of major agricultural products.

Stable food production and food safety lay a solid foundation for economic and social development and give the country more confidence to cope with external challenges and risks, said Han Changfu, the Chinese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

China’s per capita grain possession now exceeds 470 kilograms, higher than the world’s average. The country’s self-sufficiency rates of rice, wheat, and corn all stand above 98 percent.

China plays an active role in safeguarding global food safety, as the country can feed 20 percent of the world’s population with only 9 percent of the world’s arable land and 6.4 percent of its water resources.

The country has taken various measures to protect farmland, including designating permanent basic cropland, cultivating high-quality farmland and expanding trials in crop rotation.

The country aims to build 800 million mu (53 million hectares) of high-quality farmland by 2020. By the end of 2018, about 640 million mu of high-quality farmland had already been cultivated.

Technology has helped to improve grain production. China has increased technological input, applied modern technologies to farming, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence, and intensified farmer training. As a result, the overall level of mechanization in plowing, sowing, and harvesting is growing substantially.

Last year, the advances in agricultural science and technology contributed to 58.3 percent of China’s agricultural production. The grain yield per mu increased to 375 kilograms in 2018 from 170 kilograms 40 years ago. Moreover, about 90 percent of China’s agrarian brands are domestically developed.

The country encourages farmers to work together to reduce costs, increase production and embrace the market. Currently, the country has 2.2 million registered agricultural cooperatives. Last year, it allocated 42.8 billion yuan to encourage farming in certain provinces.