Global Implications of China's Future Food Consumption

Yu, Y., Feng, K., Hubacek, K., & Sun, L. (2016). Global Implications of China's Future Food Consumption. Journal of Industrial Ecology 20 (3) 593-602. 10.1111/jiec.12392.

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Rapid economic growth and urbanization in China have led to a substantial change in consumption patterns and diet structure of Chinese consumers over the past few decades. A growing demand for feed, fuel, and fiber also places intense pressure on land resources. With continuing growth of China's economy and migration from rural to urban, the increase in food consumption and change in diet structure will likely continue, which will not only impose pressure on domestic land resources, but also exert impact on land resources in other countries through import. This article applies a global multiregion input-output (MRIO) model to trace agricultural land use along global supply chains and examines the impact of China's future food consumption on global land use in 2030 against different socioeconomic and technological scenarios. Our scenarios show that by 2030, China would need an additional 21% of cropland to support its increasing food demand, driven by population growth, urbanization, and income growth and the associated diet structure change. Almost one third of cropland associated with household consumption (34 million hectares [Mha]) will be "outsourced" to foreign countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, the United States, and Thailand, for the consumption of cereal grains, soybeans, and paddy rice. China also consumes 2.4 Mha of cropland from Africa for its consumption of cereal grains and oil seeds. The dependence of domestic consumption on significant amounts of foreign cropland shows that China would face serious challenges to meet its grain self-sufficiency policy in the future, and, at the same time, this dependence would contribute to environmental and food security problems elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumption patterns; Embodied land in trade; Food security; Global multiregion input-output (MRIO) model; Industrial ecology; Teleconnections
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 10:00
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:40

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