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Climate Adaptation

China Faces Worst Crop Conditions Ever Due to Climate Change

The country’s agriculture minister said last year’s record-breaking floods have created “big difficulties” with food production 

Harvested rice is deposited in a grain hauler tractor in Shanghai.

Harvested rice is deposited in a grain hauler tractor in Shanghai.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

More extreme weather caused by rising global temperatures — compounded by geopolitical turmoil and the pandemic — is hindering China’s effort to ensure food supplies for its 1.4 billion population. 

President Xi Jinping has made food security a priority for the world’s second-biggest economy, an effort to meet the soaring demand that’s pushed imports of corn, soybeans and wheat to record levels, making Beijing increasingly vulnerable to trade tensions and supply shocks. At the same time, climate change-induced disasters have caused widespread crop damage and shrunk the amount of arable land, making it harder to boost local production.