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China facing big food supply shortfall: official

DESPITE bumper harvests, China had a shortfall of between 20 million and 25 million tonnes in the amount of grain it produced and consumed in 2015, according to a senior official.

The country faces a problem as people's appetites grow, Chen Xiwen, director of the office of the central agricultural work leading team, said during an agricultural forum Saturday.

China's total grain output increased 2.4 percent year on year to 621 million tonnes in 2015, the 12th straight year of growth.

Still, authorities have had to look abroad to close the gap.

Food imports reached a record 120 million tonnes last year, with soybean accounting for over 70 percent of the total.

Policymakers renewed their commitment to safeguarding food security during a top-level rural work conference at the end of 2015. The government will secure supply of staples, protect farmland and maintain production capacity, they said.


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