Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Leading Group on Rural Work under the Central Committee of Communist Party of China, recently noted that the consecutive harvests China enjoyed over the past nine years are still insufficient to meet the growing demand for grain during rapid urbanization.
China's urbanization rate had reached 52.57 percent as of the end of 2012, 1.3 percentage points higher than the previous year, Chen said at the Annual Meeting of China's Economy 2012-2013 in Beijing.
The country must attach great importance to grain supply as urbanization may unleash new comers' demand for more farm produces amid income rises in cities, Chen said. He continued by explaining that the diet structure of the 21 million farmers who became urbanites last year is likely to change accordingly, as people living in cities generally consume more meat and eggs.
China imported 849 billion bushels of whole U.S. soybeans in the most recent marketing year. Nearly all of the meal from those soybeans is used for poultry and livestock feed. From 1990 to 2012, China’s soy meal consumption increased from 1,028 metric tons to nearly 51,000 metric tons, a gain of almost 5,000 percent.
"If the country's grain output will not speed up, possible food shortage will threaten the development of urbanization," Chen warned. In order to underpin the development of urban expansion, China has to make efforts to secure a stable supply of grain along, Chen recommended.
From 2000 to 2012, Chinese pork production grew by 14.94 million metric tons, an increase equal to 66 percent of the European Union’s total production. This year, China’s pork production could reach an estimated 51.6 million metric tons, which is equal to nearly half of the total global production.
Chinese broiler meat production has increased by 4.46 million metric tons since 2000. Projections for this year put China’s broiler meat output at 13.73 million metric tons, making it the second-largest producer after the United States.