The Rise of Agribusiness
The farmer's lot has improved in China. However the rise of agribusiness and its growing profits favors big farms, big management and big capitalization. Land reform isn't over.
The recent steep rise in food prices has sparked fresh fears for a global food crisis. In September 2009 the United Nations hosted a conference in New York on global food security and strategies to combat ongoing food shortages in the wake of the financial crisis. In his speech UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the global food crisis "an issue that affects all of us because food security is about economic, environmental and national security for individual homelands and the world." He cited the UN Food Agency figure that over one billion people on earth go hungry every day.
For China, a nation with only seven percent of the world's farmland but as many as 22 percent of its population, feeding its 1.3 billion people has always been a top priority. This formidable task turns out to be achievable thanks to well-designed land reforms and advancement in agricultural science and technology over the years. After stocking its barns, China began to export its farming expertise to other developing countries, doing its part for global food security.
The following stories anchor different perspectives and round out a picture of agriculture's evolution for our readers.
A Rice Paddy's Potential
Super Rice Man Yuan Longping
Farmers and Consumers United by Health Concerns
Food Security Seeks Salvation in Eco-Farming