Over the past two decades, China’s urban population growth has been higher than in the rest Asia or the world as a whole. Young people are migrating to cities, leaving the elderly and children back home on the farm. So as manufacturing and urban life took off, catapulting China to world-power status, rural China and farming lagged behind. Roughly 86% of farms in China were only 1.6 acres, a tiny fraction of the size of the average 441-acre US industrialized farm and most of the work on these small farms is done by hand by an increasingly elderly population of farmers who now average over 50 years old. But that is starting to change.
Until recently, China had largely fed itself. Yet now the tables have turned, transforming China into the largest food importer in the world. Changing food consumption patterns in China have seen increasing demand for foreign consumer food brands outpaced by even faster growth in demand for imported agricultural products and feed stocks. This has happened despite a continuing stated policy goal of food self-sufficiency. The result has been an evolution in land use within China, greater integration of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in global wholesale markets and a subtle shift of emphasis away from self-sufficiency within China, towards prioritizing the security of the Chinese supply chain.
The week that was: Apple is making a comeback and beating Samsung in China; China has a debt-to-GDP ratio of a whopping 251%; and fast food giants find themselves battling a new food scandal. Will Apple eat Samsung’s pie? Although the earnings report of Apple’s third fiscal quarter of 2014 (Apple’s fiscal quarter runs from end […]
The week that was: Alibaba’s soccer team stake and telecom plans; China wakes up to the risks in metal financing; China’s investments in food and agriculture businesses rise and KKR invests in Cofco’s meat production business. Metal Financing: the New ‘Shadow Banking’? While Beijing keeps a close eye on China’s shadow banking system, a new form […]
With “food security” becoming a buzzword in China’s poliburo, where does the country turn for its most urgent food needs? In October 2013, China’s Ministry of Finance announced it would allocate RMB 600 million to boost food output and China’s food security to meet increased domestic consumption, food price inflation, urbanization and the resulting decline […]
You are invited to download the December issue of CKGSB Magazine. You’ll enjoy articles and interviews like: COVER STORY: 3D printing: Prophets of doom say 3D printing will overturn manufacturing in China. They’re both right and wrong. CHINA INSIGHT: All in the Genes: In just about 14 years of its existence, BGI-Shenzhen has become the world’s […]