BEIJING — China’s vice agricultural minister said on March 6 that the country’s food security situation is “at its best time” despite rising imports in recent years.
“The situation of China’s food security is at its best time,” Yu Xinrong said at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing National People’s Congress annual session, citing 11 consecutive years of bumper grain harvests and records in indicators such as total grain output and per capita output.
Yu also noted a rising trend in China’s grain imports in recent years, which hit a record high of about 100 million tons in 2014.
Of the total imports, 71.4 million tons were soybeans, according to Yu. The imports of cereals stood at 19.52 million tons, accounting for 3.2 percent of the year’s total grain output, Yu said.
Imports of maize and wheat fell last year, and only the import of rice and that of grains used for industrial purposes climbed, said the official.
Yu attributed the rise in overall imports to relatively low grain prices on the international market, as well as an increasingly diversified demand of grains at home.
The vice-minister said the core task of agricultural development in China is to optimize the structure of agriculture, and the government will ensure the nation’s “rice bowl” is firmly held in its own hands.