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The Government Attaches Great Importance To Food Safety Issues

Mar. 17, 2021

In the federal government's work record provided last Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang once again emphasized the value of seeds and cultivated land in protecting China's food safety. In the past 18 years, China's food safety has been listed as the No. 1 central document. This fact proves the huge connection between China and food safety.

In order to better guarantee food security, we should focus on four major issues.

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First, the federal government should take measures to meet people's demand for better quality and more variety of food. Need to study what kind of food will have additional demand.

China’s problem is no longer to feed its huge population, but to feed them. Due to the rapid economic development and the improvement of living standards, Chinese consumers today demand higher-quality food, including meat, eggs, and milk.

Due to the improvement of living standards, the Chinese people's food consumption has been declining, while the consumption of pet products has been expanding. However, the sum of personal grain consumption and animal feed consumption shows that China's per capita grain consumption is rising, in line with the trend in developed countries. In fact, China's total demand for food is expected to grow at a rate of about 2% per year, of which the growth of feed demand is about 4%. Therefore, the federal government must take the necessary measures to ensure that better livestock, vegetables and fruits are provided.

Second, ensuring food safety is a lasting task, and the two variables that are crucial to ensuring food safety are seeds and cultivated land, as discussed in the government's work records.

For the authorities, how to better ensure the safety of arable land while using high technology in agriculture to increase food production is still a daunting difficulty. That's right, there is only 10% of the world's arable land. China produces 21% of the world's grains, 25% of meat, and 30% of fruits in 2018 to meet the needs of 18% of the world's people-a spectacular Achieve any benchmark.

However, the relative shortage of arable land and the shortage of water resources have always been obstacles to improving the efficiency of pasture in our country. The per capita arable land area in China is 1.4 mu (933 square meters), slightly more than half of the world average of 2.7 mu. In 2020, China's soybean imports exceeded 100 million batches, which shows that there is still a certain gap between soybean consumption and agricultural output.

Considering China's huge population and rising demand for high-quality agricultural products, China has no choice but to increase returns on agricultural products. The output of rice and wheat in China is 50% higher than the world average.

However, compared with Western Europe and the United States, most important plants in China have lower rates of return. In particular, the output of corn and soybeans, the two main feed resources, is only 55% of that of the United States.

The reasonably reduced level of income can be attributed to the fragmentation of cultivated land, or it can be attributed to the scattered circulation of cultivated land including hillsides.

Advanced modern technological innovation is the only way to solve this problem, because the return gap between China and emerging countries is not only due to the scarcity of arable land and soil quality, but also due to the underdevelopment of agricultural technology.

Third, the federal government and the market both play an important role in maintaining China's food security. The market system can readjust the allocation of resources in a short period of time to balance changes in production and pursuit. For example, if corn prices enter substantially this year, market pressure will certainly prompt farmers to plant more corn in the coming year.

For the federal government, while promoting development, it must also better protect arable land and gradually increase food production capacity. Generally, the improvement of manufacturing capacity cannot be realized by the market alone. This is where the government must intervene.

For example, the federal government should invest more funds into existing farmland remediation and consolidation work nationwide. With the support of this task, a large area of farmland is built on a good irrigation system, and more fertile soil conditions, requiring heavy and mechanical farming, and for the use of advanced innovations that are not too complicated, but also to increase yields and farmers' income. 

In the most advanced advertising and technology, the federal government also plays a decisive role. Most agricultural research work does not generate immediate market returns and requires sustained investment.

In the field of applied research, more attention should be paid to the research of feed plants, feeding performance and improving the quality of livestock. In addition, it must take measures to help change the consumption habits of customers, for example, from pork and beef to chicken, because the latter has higher nutritional value and higher feed conversion rate. In the United States and Japan, chicken consumption accounts for more than 50% of total meat consumption, while chicken consumption in China only accounts for less than 30% of total meat consumption.

Fourth, China can partially resolve the shortage of cultivated land by importing grain. Considering that in 2001, the signing of the contract with Global Trading Corporation, China’s imports and exports of agricultural products have actually doubled-by 2019, the imports and exports of the former have increased by 12 times to reach 151 billion U.S. dollars, and the imports and exports of the latter have increased by 4 Times, reaching 79.1 billion US dollars.

It is expected that in the next few years, foreign occupations in China will remain basically unchanged, because China will certainly continue to export labor-intensive agricultural products such as vegetables and seafood, and import products such as soybeans, cotton, animal feed, and animals.

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