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Feeding One Billion A Study on China's Grain Problem in the Twenty-First Century


  • Xikang Chen


The following article discusses many serious difficulties in Chinese grain production, such as shortage of arable land and water resources, over-supply of rural manpower, lack of funds, and low level of education, science, and technology. These difficulties result in a small scale of agricultural operation, high production costs, low agricultural profitability, and slow growth in grain output. After analyzing the basic international and domestic situation, the author argues that China cannot repeat the Japanese experience but should take the road of "basic self-sufficiency and gradual increase of import." The author shows that it is possible for China to avoid rapid shrinking of arable land in the course of industrialization and to maintain the stability of grain acreage over the long term, thus enabling domestic supply to basically satisfy the grain demand of 1.6 billion people in the twenty-first century. Finally, the article provides a projection of grain output and demand in China in the years 2000, 2020, and 2030. It is projected that China will gradually increase imports in the twenty-first century, reaching 55 million tons by 2030.

Suggested Citation

  • Xikang Chen, 1996. "Feeding One Billion A Study on China's Grain Problem in the Twenty-First Century," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 22-41, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:29:y:1996:i:1:p:22-41

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