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Yu, Yang, Feng, Kuishuang, Hubacek, Klaus and Sun, Laixiang (2016) 'Global Implications of China’s Future Food Consumption.' Journal of Industrial Ecology, 20 (3). pp. 593-602.

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Rapid economic growth and urbanization in China have led to a substantial change in consumption patterns and diet structure of Chinese consumers over the past few decades. A growing demand for feed, fuel and fiber also places intense pressure on land resources. With continuing growth of China’s economy and migration from rural to urban, the increase in food consumption and change in diet structure will likely continue, which will not only impose pressure on domestic land resources but also exert impact on land resources in other countries through import. This article applies a global multi-region input-output (MRIO) model to trace agricultural land use along global supply chains and examines the impact of China’s future food consumption on global land use in 2030 against different socio-economic and technological scenarios. Our result shows that by 2030, China would need an additional 21% of cropland to support its increasing food demand driven by population growth, urbanization and income growth and the associated diet structure change. Almost a third of cropland associated with household consumption (34 Mha) will be “outsourced” to foreign countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, United States and Thailand, for the consumption of cereal grains, soybeans and paddy rice. China also consumes 2.4 Mha cropland from Africa for its consumption of cereal grains and oil seeds. The dependence of domestic consumption on significant amounts of foreign cropland shows that China would face serious challenges to meet its grain self-sufficiency policy in the future, and at the same time this dependence would contribute to environmental and food security problems elsewhere.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Published in advance online before print: 13 Jan 2016
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Finance and Management
ISSN: 15309290
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2015 13:22

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