China’s top parliament passed a food security law aimed at securing grain supplies and stipulating measures to increase incomes for crop farmers.
The new law was adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and will come into force on June 1.
According to the law, China must “ensure the absolute security of staple foods and basic self-sufficiency in grains.”
One of the main concerns of this law is farmland protection.
The law provides for the government to determine and maintain red lines to protect agricultural land, permanent primary cropland and ecosystems, as well as urban development boundaries.
Governments should restrict the occupation of agricultural land and its conversion to other forms of land use, such as forests and grasslands.
“Farmland is the lifeblood of grain production,” said Zhuang Xiaoyong, an official with the Legislative Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, explaining why the law includes a chapter dedicated to farmland protection.
He said the law includes a series of measures to foster farmers’ enthusiasm for grain cultivation.
He pointed out that the law stipulates that the government improve mechanisms to secure incomes for grain producers, compensate major grain producing regions, and foster new types of agribusiness.
The law also includes a chapter dedicated to food conservation, setting out requirements to reduce food waste through various processes from grain production to consumption.
Currently, China has sufficient grain supplies and reserves. According to Zhuang, the total domestic grain harvest in 2023 will reach more than 695 million tons, marking the ninth consecutive year of grain harvest of more than 650 million tons.
However, he emphasized that China’s grain supply and demand remains characterized by a “tight balance.”
Despite an overall good situation in terms of food security, China’s growing demand for grains will make it increasingly difficult to secure higher grain yields with limited, low-quality arable land. Minister of Justice He Rong said that the country is facing multifaceted challenges, including: This law is therefore of great importance in addressing these issues, the Minister said in an explanation of the drafting of the law.
Wang Zhimin, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said the new bill has laid a solid legal foundation for advancing China’s food security governance system and capacity, which is important in promoting China’s modernization. He said that there is.
Xinhua News Agency contributed to this article.