1st Edition

Achieving Food Security in China The Challenges Ahead

By Zhang-Yue Zhou Copyright 2017
    156 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    168 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    China’s food security has never failed to attract the public’s attention. Feeding China’s large population has always been a huge challenge. The latest large-scale famine took place in 1958–62 during which approximately 37 million people died of starvation. However, since the early 1980s, China’s food availability has improved drastically. The important question is then: has China achieved its food security? Although China’s food availability has significantly improved, it has not achieved a high level of food security due to the lack of progress in several other important dimensions of food security.

    The book examines China’s food security practices in the past six decades, explores the root causes that led to food shortages or abundances, and elaborates on the challenges that China has to deal with in order to improve its future food security. China’s quest for food security serves as a valuable lesson for many other countries to learn through China’s experiences and to better manage their food security in the future. The book also draws attention to the fact that China’s food security status has a huge impact on the global community and hence global collaboration is a mutually beneficial approach.

    1. Introduction

    1.1 Motivation

    1.2 A Snapshot

    1.3 Objectives

    1.4 Key Terms

    1.5 Organisation

    2. Existing Studies on China’s Food Security

    2.1 The Great Famine during 1958-62

    2.2 Food Shortages during the Cultural Revolution, 1966-76

    2.3 Food Abundance since the 1980s

    2.4 Food Security for the Future

    Appendix to Chapter 2

    3. China’s Food Security Practice in the Past

    3.1 Food Scarcity: 1950s-1970s

    3.2 Food Abundance: 1980 to Date

    3.3 From Scarcity to Abundance: What are the Key Determinants?

    3.4 Concluding Comments

    4. Current Status of Food Security in China

    4.1 Evaluation Framework

    4.2 Current Food Security Status: Evaluation by the OshaugEideEide Framework

    4.3 Current Food Security Status: Evaluation by Other Approaches

    4.4 Concluding Comments

    5. China’s Quest for Food Security: The Challenges Ahead

    5.1 Sustaining Food Production Resources

    5.2 Eliminating Unsafe Food and Improving Food Quality

    5.3 Narrowing Income Inequalities

    5.4 Reducing Food Wastes

    5.5 Making Grain Reserve Management Transparent

    5.6 Carrying Out Innovative Reforms to the Institutions

    5.7 Summing Up

    6. China and the Global Food Security

    6.1 Will China Starve the World?

    6.2 Other Impacts of China on Global Food Security

    6.3 How Should the International Community Deal with the Impact of China?


    Zhang-Yue Zhou is Professor at the College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University.

    'A valuable study of the Chinese experience of food security and insecurity in its recent past and exploration of some of the implications for global food security issues.’Kenneth E Jackson, Research Professor, Auckland Institute of Studies, Former Director of the Centre for Development Studies, University of Auckland

    'Wisdom is not a trait that is easily or quickly gained. It’s a process that takes time and living. But we can acquire wisdom and become wiser if we open our eyes, ears and minds to the insights of others. It is via knowledge passed through generations and from one human being to others that we truly understand the world around us. It is in this light that I regard Zhang-Yue Zhou’s latest effort.

    Zhou’s Achieving Food Security in China: The Challenges Ahead is ostensibly about China’s efforts to achieve food security. However, it is also about sharing a lifetime of hard knocks, acquired experience, knowledge, analysis, and wisdom as to the circumstances, policies, processes, institutions and incentive systems which either contributed to or undermined the achievement of that goal. To some extent, this book also serves as a warning of the "never again" variety in the sense that the stories, analysis and insights are shared to avoid similar follies in other countries and in the future.'Brad Gilmour, Chief of Trade, Policy and Market Analysis, Mouralea Trade, Agriculture and Resource Consulting

    'This book is not just an intellectual exercise or research topic to inform China’s food policies. It is apparent how deeply personal the subject is to Zhou as he relates his own experiences and those of his family, growing up in rural China during these famine periods. [...] Zhou presents the historical context in Achieving Food Security in China with passion from his own experiences. [...] Zhou’s personal experience combined with his research provides a valuable perspective into not only where China is now with its food security, but also how it got there.'The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 62, Issue 3

    'This book is an excellent read for people who keep an interest on China’s food security issue. Finally, this book may also be helpful for students, academicians and policy makers from other food insecure countries to take home some of the experiences of China’s food security journey.'Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Volume 72, Issue 4