Officials reassure public food security in China despite coronavirus impact

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/4 18:14:58

Aerial photo taken on Feb. 11, 2020 shows villagers working in fields in Sangshulin Village, Tuopai Township of Shehong City, southwest China's Sichuan Province. Farmers across China have resumed production after taking necessary protection measures against novel coronavirus. By Feb. 10, about 94.6 percent of the country's major grain production and processing firms had resumed production. (Photo by Liu Changsong/Xinhua)

China has no problem to ensure domestic food supplies and security, Chinese agriculture and food grain reserve officials said on Saturday as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global food supply chains.

China's grain reserves are sufficient, with the reserve to consumption ratio far higher than the safety line of 17 to 18 percent recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Wei Baigang, director of the Development Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), said during a press conference on Saturday.

Qin Yuyun, director of Food Reserve Department of the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, stated that China's stockpiles rice and wheat can meet the market needs for more than a year, noting that there is no need for the public to stock up on rice, flour, among others.

In 2019, the country's grain output reached 663 million tons in 2019, staying above 650 million tons for the fifth consecutive year, according to data from the MARA. Meanwhile, annual per capita share of grain has been above 470 kilograms, higher than the world average of 400 kilograms.

Officials from the FAO recently called for international efforts to prevent the COVID-19 from triggering a food crisis worldwide after a number of countries imposed various kinds of restrictions on food exports. Russia has announced to ban buckwheat and rice exports for 10 days, Vietnam stopped signing new contracts on rice exports. Kazakhstan and Ukraine also restricted certain grain exports.

But Wei said the impact will be limited as China only imports very limited amount of grain products. In 2019, China's net imports of grain was 14.68 million tons, accounting for around 2 percent of the country's total grain consumption.

Global Times

Posted in: ECONOMY

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