Food security in China: past, present and the future

Zhou, Zhang-yue (2015) Food security in China: past, present and the future. In: Nagothu, Udaya Sekhar, (ed.) Food Security and Development: country case studies. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 35-56.

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Food shortages are not uncommon in the history of China and hence the word 'famine' is not new to many Chinese (Lang, 1934; Feng, 1970; Xu, 1996; Yang, 2008). The most recent large-scale famine took place between 1959 and 1962, during which some 37 million people (5 per cent of the population) died of hunger (Yang, 2008). While the horrific experience of the famine cannot be erased from the memories of those who are now in their 50s and above, malnutrition and starvation during the 'Cultural Revolution) period (1966-76) still remains in the minds of the generation who are in their 40s and above.

Today, food supply in China is adequate and easily accessible. Arguably, the past three decades (the early 1980s to date) was one of the best periods in Chinese history so far as food availability is concerned. Thus, examining how China has managed to improve its food availability can be most valuable in generating useful implications not only for China but also for other countries to promote their food security for the future. This chapter examines China's food security practice since the 1950s.

In the following section, We examine China's food security situation since the 1950s, followed by the identification of the key drivers that contributed to its improvement during the past three decades. In the third section, a normative food security framework is used to evaluate the current status of China's food security. Major challenges for China to further improve its food security for the future and influential factors that affect the handling of such challenges are identified and elaborated in the fourth part. And finally, conclusions and implications are provided.

Item ID: 38428
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-138-81701-2
Keywords: food security; China; famine; supply; environmental sustainability; cultural acceptability; economic reforms
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 03:49
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140201 Agricultural Economics @ 70%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics @ 30%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910201 Consumption @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910210 Production @ 20%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910211 Supply and Demand @ 30%
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