With the largest population in the world, and with one of the largest farm markets in the world, China is a major agricultural producer. Despite recent technological gains, the Chinese government is giving up its goal of agricultural self-sufficiency, citing a lack of resources and land.
With a huge population and a huge portion of the population living in rural areas, China is a major international agricultural producer. With a large rural population, the Chinese Communist Party has placed agricultural self-sufficiency at the top of its lists of major goals.
Despite this governmental emphasis, the Communist leadership has begun to realize that self-sufficiency is all but impossible. Since the 1970s, the government has aggressively pursued a policy of modernization, one that has increased urbanization and led to significant rural flight. Over the last twenty years, China’s rural population fell by 80 million.
These major changes have led to an increased reliance on agricultural imports. According to the Chinese Communist Party’s top rural policy maker, “During the process of urbanization, we must pay attention to modern agricultural development and to farm product supplies, but of course, we certainly cannot pursue self-sufficiency.”
“For a country with 1.3 billion people, it is impossible to rely on ourselves to guarantee all farm products supplies,” said Han Jun, the head of the rural department of the Development Research Centre.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer