Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (10): 1229-1240.doi: 10.11821/xb201010008

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An Analysis of the Capacity of China's Food Provision

WANG Qing1, YUE Tianxiang1, LU Yimin1, DU Zhengping1, XIN Xiaoping2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2009-09-08 Revised:2010-07-22 Online:2010-10-20 Published:2010-10-20
  • Supported by:

    China National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, No.40825003; National Key Technologies R&D Program of Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China, No.2006BAC08B04; Free Research Project of State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System: High-speed algorithm of high accuracy surface modelling, No.081105


The actual food provision of China is calculated by using production data (survey data and statistical data) of cropland, grassland and aquatic ecosystems as well as import and export food data. Through the food-nutrition converting formula, we can calculate the total food nutrition production of China during 1998-2004. Taking the year of 2004 as an example, China can provide 1.601 × 1015 kcal (kilocalories) of food energy, 6.163 × 104 million kg of protein and 2.717×104 million kg of fat, in which 1.454×1015 kcal of food energy, 4.996×104 million kg of protein and 2.074×104 million kg of fat are from the terrestrial ecosystems-- cropland, grassland and inland-aquatic ecosystems. Productions of food energy, protein and fat from terrestrial ecosystems amount for 32.46% , 38.33% and 41.12% of their potential respectively, implying that there will be some increasing space of actual food provisions. China could supply food energy, protein and fat for 1912 million persons, 2084 million persons and 1103 million persons respectively under full well-to-do life in 2004. According to the nutrition goal and the forecasted population of 2010 and 2020, provisions of food energy and protein are theoretically sufficient, while food fat is deficient, implying that production of fat and oil food needs enhancement. It is also found that a majority of the total food is supplied by cropland, although the proportion has a decreasing trend, from 84.66% in 1998 to 74.72% in 2004. Food supplied by the grassland and aquatic ecosystem accounts for 4.83%-5.80% and 6.02%-7.51% , respectively. The proportion of net-import food has an increasing trend, from 4.04% in 1998 to 13.82% in 2004. Food-population-provision model and nutrients-balancing model are used to calculate the population that China can support. Results show that if foods on the first trophic level such as grain, beans and oil-crops were appropriately converted into foods on the second trophic level such as meats, China can supply food for 1.534, 1.500 and 1.411 billion people under primary well-to-do life, full well-to-do life and well-off life respectively in 2004. This means that China's food supply is sufficient if food planting and food consumption would be restructured.

Key words: China, food security, food provision, food nutrition, balancing model