CPC through a cultural lens: Emphasizing food security

2022-01-14 03:31:29 GMT2022-01-14 11:31:29(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Photo taken on June 22, 2021 shows an exterior view of the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)  Photo taken on June 22, 2021 shows an exterior view of the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- China has seen an annual grain output of over 650 million tonnes for seven solid years, yet there should be no room for complacency when it comes to food security.

The message recurring in a landmark resolution released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November last year is clear -- the Party has always made issues relating to agriculture, rural areas, and rural residents a top priority. And thanks to its resolute efforts, the Chinese people have retained firm control over their food supply.

As an ancient Chinese adage goes, food is the first necessity of people. In trying to navigate today's food landscape, the Party has plenty in history to pore over.

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), despite being a silk manufacturer, the Qi State suspended domestic production and instead bought cloth produced by the neighboring state of Lu. The price of Lu silk shot up as a result. The tempting profits from silk saw farmers unearth crop seedlings and plant mulberry trees in their farmlands.

Years later, the Qi banned Lu silk and ceased exporting grain, forcing another pivot as the Lu scrambled to sow crop seeds, but it was too late. The state was brought to its knees.

Today, while it has just 9 percent of the world's arable land, China manages to feed almost 20 percent of the world's population. The per capita food supply in China is more than 474 kg, well above the international standard of 400 kg. Certainly not an easy feat.

The CPC has adopted a food crop production strategy based on farmland management and the application of technology, according to the Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century.

The Party initiated a "red-line" minimum of 120 million hectares of arable land. Swathes of land are protected and dedicated to crops. At the same time, agricultural technology is being supported in a comprehensive manner.

The landmark resolution stated that the Party has worked to increase self-reliance in seed technology and ensure that China's seed resources are self-supporting and under better control, and the outcomes are evident.

The CPC's approach to food security today is more proactive than simply emphasizing grain storage and food thrift. It focuses on land quality and agricultural technology while rolling out conservative cuts to output to keep some land fallow, according to agriculture experts.

This means storing food in farmland output capacity and in technical potential, instead of granaries, noted Fang Yan, a researcher with the China Institute for Rural Studies, Tsinghua University. 

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