Food is essential for survival, which is why you’d think food security would be more of a priority for our national government.
Especially after how quickly we saw our food supply and supply chain almost come to a halt as a result of the pandemic. While you’d think what we went through the past 2 years would bring a reckoning and renewed appreciation for our agriculture sector, our farming communities are actually experiencing the exact opposite.
In fact, there’s a war on America's farmers happening right now. Check out our recent Scout article on that here.
Now consider the fact that the Chinese government is prioritizing food security. This will put China significantly ahead of America…and allow China major leverage over U.S. supply chains.
What China Is Doing to Be Food Self-Sufficient
China has prioritized food security for several decades, with it being at the forefront of the country’s five-year plans.
Here are some of the ways China is trying to make its country less dependent on other countries for food.
- Increased food production: The growing demand for food initially forced China to increase food production. However, in recent years, domestic food production has increased even more.
- Boosting agricultural research and development: According to CSIS, “The political will and ability to confront future food security challenges are demonstrated by the country’s position as the largest public agricultural research and development (R&D) system in the world, with 33 percent of Chinese citizens working in the agriculture sector, more than the entire U.S. population.”
- Studying seed modernization: China is investing a significant amount of time and money into seed modernization. The 13th Five-Year Plan “aims to achieve 97 percent self-sufficiency of main crops and a 50 percent increase of grain yield growth from new seed varieties.” In addition to the billions of dollars put into GMO seed development programs in China, Chinese scientists are also sending seeds to space to see how seeds grow in different climates. Seeds in China are considered “the computer chips of agriculture.”
- Stockpiling food: Starting in 1990, China began stockpiling grain, and they’ve continued to do so. According to The Upheaval, “Stockpiling rapidly, by the end of the year  China – with its 20% of the world’s population – is projected to have accumulated and stashed away some 65% of the world's corn and 53% of the world's wheat.”
- Preventing food waste: In April 2021, the national “Anti-Food Waste Law” was put into effect. Under this law, individuals who order excess food can be fined.
- Buying food manufacturing plants in the United States: Multiple Chinese-based companies have aquired food companies in the United States. 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.”
- Buying up farmland in the United States: China continues to buy land in the United States. China already owned over 191,000 acres of U.S. land before acquiring an additional 300 acres in North Dakota. It’s such a concern that the House committee voted to block China and other foreign countries (Russia, North Korea, and Iran) from farm purchases in the United States in June 2022. However, to date, nothing official has been passed.
Why China Is Focusing on Food Insecurity
According to The Diplomat, “In April 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that ‘food security is an important foundation for national security.’”
Why is it so important? There are several reasons.
First, China has experienced significant population growth. As a result, they need more food to feed their booming population.
Second, China has suffered famine before. During the 1950s, millions of Chinese citizens died due to hunger.
[Related Read: Examining Mao’s Man-Made Famine That Killed Millions]
Finally, they want to make sure they control the food. If you control the food, you control the people.
President Xi was quoted as saying, “The food of the Chinese people must be made by and remain in the hands of the Chinese.”
If China is forced to depend on other countries for food to survive, they will not be in control. And that’s what they want. They want to control their people, and they want to be the agricultural powerhouse of the world.
China Daily reports, “The president highlighted food security as a major issue, calling it one that the nation cannot afford to be complacent about. He repudiated the notions that food security is no longer an important matter in the age of industrialization or that China could rely on the international market as a solution. China must stabilize the production of its staple food and corn, expand the acreage of soybeans and other oil crop cultivation, keep its annual grain output at more than 650 million metric tons and ensure its food self-sufficiency, he said.”
How China’s Food Security Plans Hurt America
It is easy to dismiss China’s food security plans as something taking place on the other side of the world.
But there WILL be direct repercussions in the United States.
According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, “These efforts present several risks to U.S. economic and national security. For example, Chinese companies’ acquisition of hog herds in the United States may save China money and enhance its domestic capacity; however, this could also reduce China’s need for U.S.-sourced production and redistributes the environmental effects of hog waste to U.S. communities. If further consolidations and Chinese investments in U.S. agricultural assets take place, China may have undue leverage over U.S. supply chains. China’s access to U.S. agricultural IP may also erode U.S. competitiveness in agriculture technology that supports food production. Additionally, China’s illicit acquisitions of GM seeds provides a jumpstart to China’s own development of such seeds, deprives U.S. companies of revenue, and offers an opportunity to discover vulnerabilities in U.S. crops.”
In addition, consider the way America is already hindering its own farmers and food manufacturing plants with new regulations.
While we are investing time and money in green energy and sustainable farming methods, China has dismantled solar farms to create more productive agricultural land.
What You Can Do to Practice Food Self-Sufficiency
The truth is, America is already behind when it comes to food self-sufficiency. If we face something extreme, we cannot depend on our government to feed us. We must be able to feed ourselves.
- Stay aware. Know what is happening, so you stay ahead of supply shortages.
- Grow your own food. Start collecting seeds and growing food in your own yard.
- Start a hobby farm. Now is the time to raise your own meat.
- Support local farms. American farmers and ranchers need your support now more than ever before. Befriend them and support them.
- Stock up. Invest in quality long-term emergency food.
Start your preparations now, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply