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China still faces big food supply shortfall

Updated: Apr 26,2016 5:08 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Despite bumper harvests, China still has a 9.9 million ton shortfall in the amount of grain it produces and consumes annually, a senior official said on April 25.

In the long term, China’s food security situation is still alarming, Ren Zhengxiao, head of the State Administration of Grain, said during a press conference.

China’s food security is now more urgent with a rising population and industrialization encroaching on farmland. The situation is also aggravated by water and soil pollution, said Ren.

China’s total grain output increased 2.4 percent year on year to 621 million tons in 2015, the 12th straight year of growth.

Policymakers renewed their commitment to food security during a conference at the end of 2015. The government will secure the supply of staples, protect farmland and maintain production capacity, they said.

China will ensure grain output in major producing regions, trying to keep cereal largely self-sufficient and staples absolutely safe, according to the conference.

The government will offer preferential policies to large-scale grain farms while making sure that farmers benefit from agricultural development.

China will also improve price formation mechanisms and government purchase measures for important farm products.