The United Nations has issued a warning that the world is on the verge of its worst food crisis in at least 50 years, with 25 countries facing a hunger crisis.
Locusts have ravaged East Africa, India and Pakistan. Indian food production may plummet 30-50 percent, according to some Indian scholars. Thousands are already awaiting food aid in Kenya’s slums.
Vietnam, Russia, Thailand and Serbia have prohibited or slowed food exports.
The Philippines government, a net importer, has announced an urgent need for food.
Farmers harvest wheat in the city of Handan, North China’s Hebei Province on June 5. (Photos: VCG)
In response, China's "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping noted that the country was fully capable of self-sufficiency in food production, but should not relax its focus on food security.
Why does Yuan exhibit such confidence amid a global pandemic and food crisis?
The annual harvest has stabilized at over 600 million tons since 2012. China’s grain output in 2018 was nearly 660 million tons, about six times that of 1949.
In 2019, China harvested about 470 kilos of grain per person. The international food security standard is 400 kilos per capita.
China's average grain output per hectare exceeded 5,000 kilos in 2010 and stood at 5,621 in 2018.
Wheat is harvested at a village in Liaocheng, East China’s Shandong Province on June 4.
For China’s three major grains – rice, wheat and corn – the average domestic self-sufficiency rate is more than 97 percent.
China imports one percent of its total rice consumption and three percent of its wheat, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the General Administration of Customs.
In 2018, the storage capacity of qualified grain warehouses was 670 million tons, and that of simple warehouses was 240 million tons.
China’s warehouse capacity has grown 31.9 percent since 1996. The total capacity for edible oils is 28 million tons, a seven-fold increase since 1996.
Wheat is unloaded from trucks at the Xinhai Grain Reserve in Jinping Town of Lianyungang, East China’s Jiangsu Province on June 16.
In the past 20 years, China has continuously improved grain storage systems, including grain delivery mechanisms available for emergencies or natural disasters.
Emergency food reserves for 10-15 days sit available to China’s larger cities and regions.
“The rice bowl of the Chinese people, in any situation, must be firmly held in our own hands," said President Xi Jinping, who has always emphasized food production and safety.
This year's summer grain harvest rose 0.9 percent to hit a record high of 142.8 billion kilos, according to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs data.
(Translated by Zhu Naiqing and edited by Zhang Jian and Zhan Huilan; original story from CCTV News)