Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Society

China to remain reliant on US soybeans and sorghum despite self-sufficiency push

By LI LEI | | Updated: 2024-06-07 17:51
Share - WeChat

Despite ambitions for enhanced food self-sufficiency, China is projected to continue relying heavily on US imports of soybeans and sorghum for decades to come, according to a food policy expert.

Ye Yujiang, a vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), highlighted these findings during the release of the academy's annual Agricultural Sector Development Report on Friday. The report forecasts that by 2050, China will still depend on the US for approximately 39 percent of its soybeans and a substantial 60 percent of its sorghum.

Acknowledging the importance of stable trade ties with the US, Ye emphasized the need for a two-pronged approach: maintaining a strong trade relationship with the US while diversifying sources through strategic partnerships.

"It is essential to maintain stable trade relations with the United States and make every effort to uphold this stability," Ye stated. He further stressed the importance of exploring new channels and strengthening ties with agricultural powerhouses like Brazil and Argentina, as well as other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The CAAS report outlines projections based on various factors, including a declining population. It anticipates China's population to reach 1.38 billion by 2035, with urbanization reaching 75.8 percent.

To meet the evolving demands of its population, the report projects that China will need to significantly increase production of key food groups. By 2035, production is expected to rise by 29.64 million tons for meat, 6.13 million tons for eggs, 9.58 million tons for dairy products, and a significant 19 million tons for aquatic products. These figures are expected to climb further by 2050.

This projected growth will have a substantial impact on animal feed demand. The report recommends a 12 percent increase in planting area for corn and soybeans, critical animal feed crops, by 2035. This translates to an expansion of 6.8 million hectares. By 2050, the report forecasts a need for a 32 percent increase, reaching 17.3 million hectares.

Ye underscored the significant challenges this expansion presents in terms of land use. He emphasized the crucial role of technological innovation in enhancing production efficiency to address these challenges.

The event also saw the launch of the 2024 Global Food Policy Report by the International Food Policy Research Institute, Pascal Lamy, board chair of the institute, highlighted the complementary nature of the reports, emphasizing their shared goal of fostering sustainable and inclusive food systems focused on health, equity, and resilience.

"While the Global Food Policy Report offers a broad perspective on nutrition and food policy globally, the China Agricultural Sector Development Report provides a localized lens," Lamy said. This localized perspective, she noted, underscores the importance of context-specific approaches in tackling food security and nutrition challenges.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349