Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (9): 2147-2162.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202309003

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Regional regulation and interregional coordination of cultivated land protection in China from the perspective of "Greater Food" approach

ZHU Xiaohua1(), ZHANG Yan2,3, ZHU Yuanyuan2,3()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geographic Process Analysis & Simulation Hubei Province, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. Academy of Wuhan Metropolitan Area, Hubei Development and Reform Commission & Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2023-01-30 Revised:2023-06-19 Online:2023-09-25 Published:2023-09-28
  • Contact: ZHU Yuanyuan;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42171230);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071170)


The foundation of food production lies in cultivated land, and the protection of cultivated land is the cornerstone to ensure national food security. Based on the food consumption data of Chinese residents from 1987 to 2020, this study introduced the concept of virtual land and imported food data to estimate the cultivated land area required for food and virtual imported cultivated land, and analyzed the overall and zonal agricultural planting structure of China at this stage. On this basis, it constructed the zonal regulation and coordination mechanism of cultivated land protection in China in the context of "Greater Food" approach. The Chinese dietary structure presented the characteristics of increasing animal food consumption and gradually focusing on meat. Therefore, this study found the following conclusions on the regulation of cultivated land: (1) From 1987 to 2020, the cultivated land required by the Chinese dietary structure gradually approached the critical value. The virtual imported cultivated land increased by nearly 20 times, and the cultivated land demand was changing to the orientation of diversified planting demand. (2) The total agricultural planting structure in China has not yet met the dietary consumption demand of residents, and there are problems of structural imbalance, insufficient supply, and excess inventory. There are significant differences in the agricultural planting structure of the nine major agricultural areas of China. (3) The transformation of cultivated land protection should take the protection of existing cultivated land resources as the base, the transformation of planting structure, the regulation of agricultural production layout as the main force, the implementation of regional coordination and the guarantee of appropriate international imports as the assistance, and the transfer of pressure on cultivated land resources to the living community as the core from a systematic perspective, so as to build a multi-directional protection mechanism for China's cultivated land. This study can provide a scientific reference for the formulation of cultivated land protection strategy oriented by food balance demand and provide a theoretical menu for ensuring national food security and sustainable resource utilization in the new era.

Key words: "Greater Food" approach, arable land zoning, cultivated land protection, China