China's food self-sufficiency rate has dropped by nearly 28 percentage points in the past 20 years. Due to factors such as China’s limited arable land and water resources, and the low level of crop yields per mu, the CCP plans to use foreign agricultural resources to supplement it, and the water and soil resources of countries along the “ Belt and Road ” have become a key target.
China's self-sufficiency rates of wheat and rice are relatively high, but the self-sufficiency rates of edible vegetable oil and soybeans are relatively low, at 33% and 17%, respectively. less than 20%.
In particular, soybeans, which are the main raw material for vegetable oil and animal feed, will only produce 16.4 million tons in China in 2021, while imports will be as high as 96.51 million tons. China's soybean imports account for 60% of the world's total exports and more than 80% of China's total soybean consumption. According to the forecast of China's Ministry of Agriculture, in 2022, the gap between China's soybean production and consumption will exceed 100 million tons.
On April 27 this year, at the China Macroeconomic Forum (CMF) seminar on hot issues of China's economy held by the CCP, some CCP experts, while acknowledging the food plight faced by China, made moves one after another, so that the CCP can openly plunder international resources .
Cheng Guoqiang, a professor at the School of Agriculture and Rural Development at Renmin University of China, admits that from 2000 to 2020, China's food self-sufficiency rate dropped from 93.6 percent to 65.8 percent, and may further drop to 59 percent by 2030.
In order to greatly increase the self-sufficiency rate of soybeans, the shortage of arable land and other resources will become a major problem. In 2021, China's soybean consumption will be 117 million tons, with a per-unit yield of 130 kg/mu, according to the statistics bureau of the Communist Party of China. If all soybean consumption needs are met by China's own production, nearly 900 million mu of arable land will be needed to grow soybeans.
At present, China's arable land area has been struggling to maintain the red line of 1.8 billion mu. Under the CCP's policy of prioritizing the cultivation of major rations such as rice and wheat, it is obviously impossible to allocate half of the 1.8 billion mu of arable land to plant soybeans.
Data from two surveys of China's land conditions show that in the ten years from 2009 to 2019, the area of arable land in China decreased by 113 million mu, and the total amount has fallen below 2 billion mu.
As China's urbanization continues to expand, Chinese consumption of animal foods such as meat, eggs, and milk continues to grow, driving up demand for raw materials for energy feeds and protein feeds. Cheng Guoqiang estimates that China's food demand will peak between 2025 and 2030. To meet the demand for food rations and consumption of meat, eggs, milk, and vegetable oil, China needs roughly 4.2 billion mu to 4.3 billion mu of land for planting.
Experts used by the Chinese Communist Party: Expand foreign arable land by at least 1.3 billion mu
How to solve the problem of insufficient arable land in China? Cheng Guoqiang told the authorities that the CCP must find a way to use at least 1.3 billion mu to 1.5 billion mu of foreign arable land to make up for its own food shortage.
Zhang Hongyu, deputy dean of the China Rural Research Institute of Tsinghua University, also said at the seminar that it is necessary to take advantage of the shortcomings of Brazil and Argentina in fertilizers, seeds and logistics to increase related investment to obtain crops that the CCP needs. In addition, he asked the authorities to expand the use of Africa's land and water resources.
Over the years, the CCP has been investing in crop production, processing, and logistics in Asia, Latin America, Africa and other regions, guiding the planting structure of these countries, and cultivating overseas supply bases for crops for itself.
According to the official statistics of the CCP, since 1979, the CCP has continuously dispatched technicians to promote the cultivation of Chinese hybrid rice in India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Madagascar and other countries. So far, hybrid rice has been cultivated in dozens of countries. The annual planting area has reached 8 million hectares (120 million mu).
In addition, the CCP has also promoted the corn-soybean strip compound planting technology in Pakistan to increase soybean planting.
In Latin America, Chinese companies have established grain transfer stations and crop processing plants in important grain producing areas such as Santos in Brazil and Rosario in Argentina.
COFCO International, which is responsible for the CCP's unified procurement of grain overseas and related investments, has been focusing on Brazil for many years. It has 2 soybean crushing plants, 4 sugar factories, 1 transfer station, 2 terminals and warehouses, with a total investment of nearly 5 billion. Dollar.
Rosario in Argentina is an important high-quality soybean producing area in the country, but the crops in this area are mainly transported by road to the port of Rosario, which has higher logistics costs. Under the guidance of the CCP's " One Belt, One Road " strategy, China Machinery Engineering Corporation entered the Argentine market, invested in the reconstruction of the local freight railway system, and accelerated the output of soybeans and other crops.
In Jamaica, Zhongcheng Sugar, controlled by China National Complete Equipment Import and Export Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China National Development and Investment Group, has invested in sugarcane planting and processing. In addition, Zhongcheng Sugar also operates three sugar industry projects in Madagascar, Africa, all of which are leased to independently produce sugarcane and process cane sugar, alcohol and other products.
China's own grain production is far behind demand
According to Cheng Guoqiang's estimate, China's current annual grain consumption is about 810 million tons, and it is expected to reach 900 million tons by the end of 2025, and reach a peak demand of 920 million to 940 million tons by the end of 2030.
Despite the surge in demand, China's crop production has not kept pace with demand growth. Taking soybean as an example, from 1996 to 2021, China's soybean demand has grown at an annual rate of 8.26%, but the average annual growth rate of China's soybean production is only 0.82%.
The level of agricultural production in China also lags behind that of advanced countries. According to the CCP’s Bureau of Statistics, in 2021, the average yield of soybeans per mu in China is 130 kg, while the yield per mu of soybeans in the United States is 230 kg; in terms of corn, the yield per mu of corn in China is 420 kg per mu, while the yield in the United States is 420 kg per mu. 770 kg.
China has more people and less land, and the per capita arable land area is only 0.08 hectares. And China is also one of the 13 countries with the poorest water resources in the world. China's rapid industrialization and urbanization have also resulted in the occupation of a large amount of arable land, a decline in soil quality, and increased water pollution. In 2018, 15.5% of China's groundwater was rated as severely polluted.
Since the beginning of this century, China's grain imports have continued to increase. According to statistics, in 2003, China's food imports were only US$14 billion, which has increased to US$1.945 billion in 2021; from 2000 to 2021, China's soybean imports increased from US$2.3 billion to US$53.5 billion.