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China’s National Program for Food and Nutrition (2014-2020)

Updated: 2014-05-16

The program focuses on effectively securing food supplies, optimizing the food structure and improving the nutritional status of all Chinese.

Drawing a new blueprint for China’s food and nutrition up to 2020

China’s economic and social development is at a crucial stage. With urban and rural residents’ incomes continuing to rise, people’s needs for food is rapidly shifting from simply securing enough food to eating healthier.

At present, China’s food production cannot meet the nutritional needs of its people. Under-nutrition and over-nutrition coexist among Chinese people, and society lacks the knowledge in how to have a nutritious diet. In order to better cope with the challenges, the State Council officially published the National Program for Food and Nutrition Development (2014-2020) on Feb 10, 2014. The program is the third one on food and nutrition published by the Chinese government.

The program summarizes recent achievements in food and nutrition sectors and offers a guideline for further improving food and nutrition in China for the next seven years. In line with people’s expectations for a better life, the program regards securing the food supply, facilitating a balanced nutrition development and coordinating food production and consumption as the main tasks, aiming to improve the overall health of all Chinese and lay a solid foundation for building China into a moderately prosperous society. The grogram sets up four basic principles, emphasizing that food quantity is equally important to food quality, emphasizing the balanced development of production and consumption, emphasizing the use of tradition and innovation in development and emphasizing the combination of both guidance and intervention.

It sets up clear goals from the aspects of food production, food processing, food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional diseases control. The goals of the grogram include China’s annual grain output remaining stable at more than 550 million tons. The annual food consumption is 135 kilograms per person. The average daily intake of energy per person is 2,200 kcal to 2,300 kcal. The goal is for anemia to be kept to less than 10 percent of the Chinese population. The program will take action in three key sectors: securing quantity, securing quality and improving nutrition. It proposes three major tasks: building up a stable and effective food supply system, a standardized food quality system that can easily be monitored, and a nutrition improvement system, which can guide people’s consumption.

The development program singles out three food products, three key regions and three vulnerable groups as priorities to improve food and nutrition. The three food products are high quality agricultural products, nutritional foods, which can easily be processed, and dairy and soy products. Three key regions are poor areas, rural areas and areas with a large migrate population. The three vulnerable groups are those who are pregnant, infants, young children and the elderly.

In order to achieve its goals and tasks, the development program asks for increased investments in food and nutrition development, increased support for the production of edible agricultural products, developing food and nutrition guidance targeting different age groups, and carrying out food consumption surveys.

The food and nutrition development outline was co-led by the Ministry of Agriculture and China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology were also involved in building the development program, which took three years. In-depth research was done, involving visits to many provinces and suggestions from local governments, food and nutrition experts and related enterprises.

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Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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