Corn overtakes rice as leading foodstuff

Updated: 2013-04-11 13:16

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

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Corn has been increasingly processed to starch, albumen powder and ethanol, boosting the demand for corn.

To rein in these activities, China has increased tax on corn processing and reduced subsidy for ethanol making in 2012.

"If I was asked how much food an ordinary person should consume per year, to ensure safe supplies for the country, I would suggest a reasonable benchmark should be 395 kilograms," said Guo.

"Some research benchmarks are much higher, and this has led to worries over China's food security.

"But we should only consider people's basic food need when making benchmarks, excluding excess need," he added. He suggested reining in grain use in non-food processing, and improving Chinese people's diets by reducing consumption of meat and poultry.

The report also projected that in 2013 China's producer prices for agricultural products will increase 8 percent, and consumer prices for food will rise 7 percent, of which grain prices will gain 8 percent, oil 6 percent and vegetables will pick up 10 percent in price.

Zhu Gang, a researcher with the Rural Development Institute, said that although China's food production will continue to rise, hitting 594 to 600 million tons in 2013, China's food prices are expected to rise too.

"This is because of an expected rise in agricultural costs and the government's purchase price."

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