China Faces More Difficulty Meeting Food Demand, Official Says

China will have more difficulty feeding itself in the coming years as expanding demand, spurred by increased urbanization, strains resources, Vice Minister of Agriculture Chen Xiaohua said.

As more people move into cities and towns, the supply of farm products is limited by declining productivity of rural labor, a worsening natural environment and more extreme weather, Chen said in a transcript of a speech released by the department on Jan. 26, according to its website.

During 2011-2015, more than half of the country’s population will be living in cities or towns, Chen said in the speech, without elaborating. This migration creates additional demand of 4 million metric tons of grain, 800,000 tons of vegetable oil, and 1 million tons of meat every year, Chen said according to the transcript.

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