Grain in Hand, No Panic in Heart —China’s Contribution to World Food Security


By Mr. Li Xiaoyong (Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone)

In recent years, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the international situation, global food shortages and rising food prices have become very problematical for the world. Thanks to the new types of seeds, new technological advances, new models of cultivation and new agricultural equipments, there have been good harvests both in wheat and rice in China this year. The Chinese farmers have started sowing seeds of hope this summer and yet another season of crops on the splendid land has begun to grow.

As the largest developing country, China is always committed to safeguarding food security. H.E. President Xi Jinping said that since China is a country with 1.4 billion people, the fundamental role played by the agriculture sector can never be ignored or weakened because it is always true that with grain in hand, hearts do not panic.

President Xi’s book entitled:  “On the Work of Agriculture, Rural Areas and Farmers”, published in June this year, provides China’s answer to the question of food security.

In fact, China uses 9% of the world’s arable land to feed one-fifth of the world’s population. China is not only the largest grain producer, but also the third largest grain exporter in the world.

China has vigorously helped other developing countries in agriculture sector, for example the cultivation of 8 million hectares of Chinese hybrid rice in Asia, Africa and the Americas provides food for 80 million people.

Since the beginning of the year, China has provided more than 15,000 tons of humanitarian food aid to other developing countries in order to relieve the urgent needs of the people there.

As a responsible major country in the international community, China proposes a global food cooperation initiative and leads the world’s food security governance. Last year, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative(GDI) at the 76th UN General Assembly, making food security one of the eight key areas of cooperation.

In late July this year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed a cooperation initiative on global food security, while addressing the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, which proposes the following:

First, supporting the central role of the United Nations in coordination. The role of the UN should be strengthened rather than weakened, and the work of FAO, IFAD and WFP should be supported.

Second, not imposing export restriction on humanitarian food purchases by the WFP.

Third, facilitating the entry of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian agricultural products and inputs into the international market.

Fourth, major food producing and net food-exporting countries should release their own export potential, reduce trade and technical barriers, and control making fuel out of crops, so as to ease the tight food supply in the market.

Fifth, the emergency measures taken by countries for food trade should be short-term, transparent, targeted and appropriate, and conform to the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Sixth, supporting the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the cooperation on agricultural science and technology innovation among countries, and reducing restrictions on high-tech exchanges.

Seventh, reducing food loss and waste. China has hosted the International Conference on Food Loss and Waste and stands ready to jointly follow through on the consensus reached at the conference.

Eighth, helping developing countries enhance their capacity of food production, storage and loss reduction in terms of capital, technology market and others.

China and Sierra Leone are good brothers who stand together through thick and thin. Since 1991, China has sent more than 100 agricultural experts to Sierra Leone to provide technical training, agricultural machinery use demonstration and rice breeding research etc. Through bilateral and multilateral channels, the  Chinese Government has provided different batches of food aids to the needy people in Sierra Leone. Recently more than 2,700 pieces of various types of agricultural machinery given gratis by the Chinese Government have arrived to the warehouse of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Food security involves the lives of every household and the shortage of food poses as a major challenge to our planet. China will continue to lead and participate in global food security governance, and work with all friendly countries including Sierra Leone to actively implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and make greater contributions to safeguarding world food security.




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