China sees over 35 bln kg of annual grain loss before consumption: report
Published: Dec 24, 2020 02:21 PM

A farmer harvests wheat in Lijiakou Village of Yongqing County, north China's Hebei Province, June 13, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Binghui)

China sees over 35 billion kg of grain loss at pre-consumption stages including storage, transportation and processing, says a report.

The report, based on nationwide field research by National People's Congress (NPC) deputies, was on Wednesday submitted to an ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the NPC, China's top legislature.

The country's annual grain output has crossed 650 million tonnes for five consecutive years, with self-sufficiency rates of rice and wheat surpassing 100 percent and self-sufficiency rate of cereals over 95 percent, according to the report.

Despite sufficient grain reserves, the country maintains a tight balance between supply and demand, the report reads, adding that reducing grain loss and food waste has become an essential part in safeguarding food security.

Pre-consumption grain loss in the country is heavy due to factors including outdated storage facilities, logistics equipment and processing techniques, it says.

The report also mentions the issue of food waste during human consumption, saying that up to 18 billion kg of food is wasted every year in the catering industry in cities.

The report points out the measures and policies initiated by the country to prevent grain loss and food waste as well as the progress achieved.

To reduce grain loss at pre-consumption stages, the report recommends improving agricultural infrastructure, calling for developing more efficient harvesters and smart grain depots as well as using low-consumption grain processing techniques.

The report suggests establishing a unified standard for assessing food loss and waste and a platform for investigating cases of food waste.

To fight food waste, the report calls on the government to tighten the management of banquets using public funds and suggests that restaurants should remind consumers to refrain from ordering excessive food.

Lawmakers are drafting a law on preventing food waste, which has been submitted to the ongoing NPC Standing Committee session for deliberation. The drafting of a law on food security is also underway.