China will intensify cooperation to ensure food security

China will intensify international cooperation with other countries to jointly fight hunger and ensure global food security, said a white paper released on Monday. The country will also continue to...
by WANG XIAODONG
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Villagers dry corn in Zhangye, Gansu province, in September. WANG JIANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

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

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 successfully fed nearly 20 percent of the world’s total population with just 9 percent of the world’s farmland and 6 percent 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 onefifth 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 470 kilograms, a rise of 14 percent
compared with 1996, and a rise of 126 percent 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 tons of grains, including 88 million metric tons of soybeans, more than nine times the amount in 1996, it said.

The white paper also said that China will actively participate in global and regional food security governance, explore new models for international food cooperation and conduct comprehensive and high-standard international food
cooperation.

“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 programs, covering areas including farming, grain storage, agricultural machinery and agricultural product processing, according to the white paper.

This article is reprinted from China Daily.