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Worries about food supply unfounded

China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-30 07:26
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CAI MENG/CHINA DAILY

Vietnam has recently suspended its exports of rice. The country exports 7 million tons of rice each year, accounting for 15 percent of the world rice trade. But although the pandemic has affected the global grain trade, China is self-sufficient in grain production and there is no need for people to worry.

China imported 530,000 tons of rice last year. However, that only accounts for about 1 percent of the country's annual rice consumption. So changes in the world grain trade will not affect it too much.

To realize food security based on self-reliance has been a central task for the Communist Party of China and the government has taken a series of effective measures to improve the country's grain production capacity. The modernization of agriculture and promotion of large-scale farming has helped the country to become more self-sufficient in food.

China's grain production has been steady for years-its annual grain production has stayed above 650 million tons for five years in a row-and its grain reserves are sufficient to ensure the stability of the domestic food market, and enable the country to cope with the tests of grave natural disasters and emergent incidents.

In fact, it is the fast increase in demand of the fodder processing industry and other food-related industries, which accounts for about one-fourth of the domestic grain production, that has to some extent lowered the self-sufficiency rate for grains.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the government has taken the right measures to maintain the stability of the food market. For instance, the grain and edible oil processing industries and the logistics of food and other life necessities have been among the first to resume production and operation in the wake of the outbreak, but because of the epidemic's influence on the catering industry, the overall demand for rice, flour and edible oil remains weak.

The restrictive measures some grain exporters have taken due to the novel coronavirus pandemic will aggravate price fluctuations in international grain market, But their impacts on China's grain market will be limited. To some extent, the pandemic will be conducive to helping the country to get rid of its surplus grain stocks that have actually put pressure on the grain reserve systems.

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