BEIJING, Jan 19, 2011 (IPS) - In China, a country with a history of famine and where rural dwellers still use the greeting "have you eaten?", food is close to sacred. Feeding the country’s massive population remains one of the biggest threats to future economic growth and social stability, experts warn.
Since 1997, China has lost some 8.2 million hectares (20.2 million acres) of arable land to urbanization, industrialization, re-forestation and damage caused by natural disasters. Thirty-seven percent of China’s territory suffers from land degradation and the country’s per capita available land is 40 percent of the world average.
"China has made remarkable economic and social progress over the past three decades, lifting several hundred million out of poverty, and food security has benefited significantly from this overall progress," said Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, when he visited China in December.
"However, the shrinking of arable land and the massive land degradation threatens the ability of the country to maintain current levels of agricultural production, while the widening gap between rural and urban is an important challenge to the right to food of the Chinese population."
The right to food requires people to have incomes that allow them to purchase food, and that food systems be sustainable enough that satisfying current demands does not jeopardize future needs.
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Quelle: IPS, 21.1.2011
siehe als Hintergrund "Landwirtschaft in China: Zwischen Selbstversorgung und Weltmarktintegration"
see the brochure in German: Landwirtschaft in China: Zwischen Selbstversorgung und Weltmarktintegration