10 years ago, the United Nations estimated that the global food reserves would only last 74 days if something catastrophic happened, such as a meteor strike.
But some countries have more food reserves than others, which means their citizens will be able to survive longer.
Take China, for example.
China is going through what many would consider extremes to prioritize food security. Meanwhile, the Strategic National Stockpile in the US does not contain food reserves. FEMA does.
China recently initiated a major reversal in policy regarding farming and forestry.
What does China know that America doesn’t? What are they preparing for, and why aren’t we?
Let’s take a closer look.
China’s Return Forest to Farmland Policy
In the 1990s, China implemented the “return farmland to forest” policy to battle the poor side effects of the overexploitation of farmland.
This was a result of horrible flooding in 1998, which resulted in the destruction of 13 million homes and thousands of lives.
Deforestation made the flooding significantly worse, so the government implemented the “return farmland to forest” policy, which led to the planting of trees across China over the next decade.
According to Le Monde, “In 1999, as part of the Bonn Conference on Climate Change, China pledged to promote reforestation, in particular by converting agricultural land into forests, under a program called ‘Grain for Green.’ It was a success. Between 1990 and 2020, forest cover rose from 157 million to 220 million hectares.”
Today, China is doing the exact opposite.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared food security as one of the top goals for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
His phrase, “Chinese people’s rice bowls must always be held firmly in our own hands with Chinese grains in them,” became the guiding principle of the country’s agricultural policy.
They are addressing food insecurity by reversing the original policy and now forcibly taking forests away to make space for farmland to grow grain.
According to Global Voices, “At the past National People’s Congress (NPC) opening in March, the outgoing Premier Li Keqiang said that China would boost its grain output by 50 million tonnes in 2023 and build storage centers for emergency supplies of daily necessities.”
The Effects of Forest to Farmland Policy
The new policy is seen as extreme by many.
One of the most widely criticized events was the bulldozing of the world’s largest greenway system.
The green belt was a multibillion dollar project that turned Chengdu into a city within a park. Now, the park is being bulldozed to make space for farmland.
Additionally, a large number of trees were razed overnight.
The Sunday Guardian reports, “In addition, a large number of ‘agricultural control’ officers, assisted by local officials and police, have been sent to the fields to force farmers to stop planting industrial and cash crops and switch their arable land to growing grain. From videos circulating on social media, it appears that the local farmers’ non-food crops are being forcibly razed by farm control officials nationwide, strongly against the farmers’ wishes.”
Beijing-based political journalist Gao Yu claims, “It's like the Great Leap Forward and the steelmaking campaign, which didn't make any [viable] steel in the end. Instead, what happened was that tens of millions of farmers starved to death.”
As a reminder, the Great Leap Forward under Mao forced farmers to stop farming and start making steel. It led to the worst famine in human history.
The Potential Reasons for the Sudden Reversal
Why is China pulling a complete reversal? It depends on whom you ask.
It appears there are 3 different opinions regarding why China is cutting down trees and pushing farming grain.
- Concerns about Food Security. With events such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China is more worried about food security. One reason is that China is the world’s biggest food importer. Global Voices explains, “The country’s food consumption self-sufficiency ratio has decreased from 93.6 percent in 2000 to 65.8 percent. The ruling party considers this trend a food security crisis. To address the crisis, China is set to boost annual grain output, with 103 million hectares of the total 120 million hectares of arable land dedicated to grain production. […] To meet the target, the country has to increase the farmlands available for grain production.”
- Control the Food. Control the People. Some believe the initiative is less about food insecurity and more about politics. Germany-based ecological expert Wang Weiluo tells The Epoch Times, “The recent land reclamation is not being done for the sake of China’s food security. Instead, it represents a show of force as part of a top-down effort.” In addition, former professor Li Yuanhua tells The Epoch Times, “By centralizing control over production and livelihood resources in the countryside, aided by its new rural enforcement force, the CCP also hopes to restore its collective control.”
- Preparing for War. One Beijing resident reached a very specific conclusion: “Do you know what this means? The state is preparing for war. Attacking Taiwan is inevitable!” Further, according to a professor quoted by The Epoch Times, “China’s intentions with regard to Taiwan are inseparable from the forest to farmland emphasis. China wants to use force against Taiwan but fears international sanctions that could threaten its food security.” In other words, they are storing up their food reserves because they are preparing for war. While some think Taiwan, other countries are also concerned. Take the Chinese spy balloon that traveled over American farmland.
China’s Preparing. America Isn’t. You Should.
While this policy reversal is new, China preparing for food security is not new.
In addition to demanding farmland back in China, China has also bought up more than 191,000 acres of US farmland.
That’s not all. China is also buying US food manufacturing plants.
Ag Web Farm Journal reports, “In 2013, Shuanghui International purchased U.S.-based Smithfield Foods. (At the time of sale, Smithfield had 25 U.S. plants, 460 farms, and contracts with 2,100 producers in 12 states.) In 2014, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation’s (COFCO) bought two major agricultural trading companies, Noble Agri and Nidera. In 2017, ChemChina paid almost $46 billion for acquisition of Syngenta, giving the CCP aboveboard access to transgenic seeds and crop protection products.”
So many red flags.
The future of food in the US is insecure.
We’ve already seen how quickly our supply chain can be taken down. One major disaster and our food supply chain will be crippled.
All this to say – you must prepare yourself. We cannot depend on FEMA’s food reserves.
- Stay aware. Know what is happening so you prepare ahead of supply shortages.
- Grow your own food. Start collecting seeds and growing your own food.
- Start a hobby farm. There has never been a wiser time to start raising your own meat.
- Stock up. Invest in quality long-term emergency food and build up your own food reserves.
Start your preparations, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply