CHINA- China’s National People’s Standing Committee has adopted a new food security law to safeguard farmland and bolster grain production, as recently reported by China Daily.

The law, set to take effect on June 1, underscores China’s commitment to ensuring “absolute security in staple foods and basic self-sufficiency in grains.” 

One of the primary focuses of the new law is the protection of farmland from development and urban encroachment to ensure sufficient grain production. The legislation calls for government measures to restrict the occupation of farmland and its conversion to other uses, such as forests or grasslands.

The law incorporates a range of measures aimed at promoting grain production, ensuring income for grain growers, compensating major grain-producing areas, and fostering new types of agribusiness, noted Zhuang. 

Additionally, the legislation features a dedicated chapter on food conservation, outlining requirements to reduce food waste throughout various processes, from grain production to consumption.

Wang Zhimin, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, emphasized the significance of the new legislation in advancing Chinese modernization, stating that it provides a solid legal foundation for enhancing China’s system and capacity for food security governance. 

The law reflects China’s commitment to addressing the multifaceted challenges in the realm of food security while paving the way for a more sustainable and self-sufficient future in grain production.

Despite a generally favorable food security situation, China, with a population of 1.4 billion and increasing grain demand, faces complex challenges, including limited and low-quality arable land, as well as mounting difficulties in achieving stable and higher grain output, stated Minister of Justice He Rong.

China, representing 20% of the global population with only 10% of the world’s arable land, has set a goal to achieve self-sufficiency in grain by 2032. 

However, over the past five years, it has witnessed a twelvefold increase in imports of corn, wheat, and soybeans.

Zhuang Xiaoyong, an official with the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission, highlighted that despite a total grain harvest in China exceeding 695 million tonnes in 2023—a nine-year streak of grain harvests surpassing 650 million tonnes—the nation still grapples with tight grain supply and demand.

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