Seminar on the project of “Food Security and Farm Land Protection”, organized by Unirule Institute of Economics, was held in Huangyuan Hotel in Beijing on Feb. 25, 2009. The summary and content of the report under this topic is published below.
As a populous country in the world, China can not emphasize too much the importance of food to ensure people’s sufficient consumption, the famine happened in 1950s and 1960s in China was engraved in people’s memory, and was unforgettable for highest level decision-makers today. Reform started in rural areas also for the reason that food shortage was the most important problem in society at that time, therefore it is absolute necessary to list food security as the primary national policy. However, the significance of food is not equal to the importance of food security problem. Great changes have taken place in situation at home and abroad after three decades reform, and food security problem is not as important as before among numerous national polices.
It is wrong and even harmful to relate food security with farm land protection completely, or making food security as the main reason of farm land protection, which will hinder the exploitation and understanding of real reasons. We completely support farm land protection as long as it is saved and efficient used. But from public opinion and policies, farm land protection is specifically referred to the control of farm land quantity, so as to formulate an insuperable red line of 18 hundred million mu. This kind of farm land protection, and completely linked with food security, is criticized in our research.
In the long term, food supply and demand is basically balanced, even supply exceeds demand slightly in forthcoming period. It is forecasted that food production will reach 2.34 billion tons in 2010 with 1.8% increase annually, and food consumption will be 2.225 billion tons in 2010 with less 1.6% increase annually. What it important is that the cultivation area of grains stabilizes at about 700 million ha from 1950s, accounting for 50% of the arable land of the whole globe. Per capita output of grain increased to some extent even under the situation of great population expansion (Per capita output of grain increased from 310 kilograms in 1960s to 339 kilograms in 2006), and world grain price is declining in the long run. The abovementioned facts indicate that human are free from Malthus'law of population, which is the basis of this research.
Wars, internal disorders, and epidemics are some reasons of threatening food security, these reasons are eliminated in this research on the grounds that there is no relation of farm land quantity and grain yield in the case of the occurrence of force majeure. Economic system can’t be underestimated for food security, a good case is the famine happened in 1950s and 1960s in China is in planning economy period. However, there seems no reason of the diversion of China’s current economic system, so this research discussed the relation of farm land quantity/quality and grain yield in normal times.
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