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Food security policy options for China: lessons from other countries

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  • Kym Anderson
  • Anna Strutt

Abstract

As China becomes more industrial and urbanized, it is likely to become more dependent over time on imports of (especially land-intensive) farm products, most notably livestock feedstuffs. If farmers are slow to adjust to their declining competitiveness, for example by obtaining off-farm employment, the farm-nonfarm household income gap may increase. A decline in food self-sufficiency may be perceived as undermining national food security, and a persistent farm-nonfarm income gap as contributing to social unrest. In these circumstances, what offsetting or compensating policy options should the government consider for ensuring adequate long-term food security and less income inequality? This paper evaluates China's historical record since 1980 and then projects China's economy to 2030, using the GTAP global economy-wide model. It draws on past policy experiences of both China and more-advanced economies to evaluate prospective interventions by government to address food security and income inequality concerns. The potential effects of some of those are estimated for 2030, again using the GTAP model. The paper concludes by suggesting alternative ways to achieve the fundamental objectives of national food security and less rural-urban income inequality, namely via generic social safety nets and improved rural infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Kym Anderson & Anna Strutt, 2014. "Food security policy options for China: lessons from other countries," Departmental Working Papers 2014-11, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2014-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China's economic growth; Food security; Farm productivity growth; Global economy-wide model projections;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

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