Food security is China’s most fundamental interest at all times. To safeguard the country’s lifeline, it will adopt an all-encompassing approach to food, develop protected agriculture, and build a diversified food supply system, said the report delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress.
Gao Wangsheng, dean of the National Academy of Agricultural Science and Technology Strategy affiliated with China Agricultural University, said that China has completed the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. With the improvement of the per capita income and consumption level, the traditional grain-based food supply system is far from meeting people’s current food consumption needs.
It is time to establish a more diversified food supply system, namely asking for food from forests, rivers, lakes, oceans, protected agriculture and microorganisms, to better meet people’s demand for a healthy diet, added Gao.
Globally, food security has worsened over the past few years. According to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), nearly 193 million people experienced crisis level or worse food insecurity in 2021, an increase of almost 40 million over the previous record in 2020. This trend is projected to continue for some time.
Compounding the issue is that the world population reached eight billion in 2022, according to UN, meaning that food security remains a global challenge. It is therefore a matter of urgency for the world to increase its current food production.
Lyu Xin, dean of the College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, suggested that the research on emerging interdisciplinary technologies such as synthetic biology, should be intensified, while advancing basic research in artificial edible proteins and carbohydrates and their industrialization, to establish a new food manufacturing model.
Wang Jiaqi, director of the Institute of Food and Nutrition Development, Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, said that an all-encompassing approach to food will contribute to rural revitalization. This could be done by harvesting high-quality agricultural products in the countryside, and establishing and strengthening distinctive rural industries, which will become the backbone for rural development.
Wang also said that implementing this approach is the foundation of the Healthy China Initiative because it can guide food production, help expand food sources and increase food diversity, which is a major factor in improving human health.
China’s sustainable food supply system will not only manifest a people-centered development philosophy, but will also benefit the whole world, said Lyu.