A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

China’s food independence under considerable pressure

March 17, 2014

“The most important independence is food independence” recently stated Papa Abdoulaye Seck, the Senegalese Minister of Agriculture.

This independence––a relentless pursuit in China––could undergo profound changes. According to a recent study conducted by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the recent smog (an acute pollution caused by coal burning) might have contaminated the Chinese wheat crop, and led to long-term conditions “similar to a nuclear winter.” The consequences of the slowdown could impact the food supply for 1.3 billion Chinese people, when agricultural production accounts for 10 percent of the country’s GNP.

The situation is all the more alarming that China is a net importer of agricultural products such as wheat––some 2013 estimates are ranking it as the world’s largest wheat importer––as well as milk. Beijing has also developed a policy of land acquisitions that is seen as unavoidable to meet its food challenge.

An agricultural giant due to its trading power, China is therefore gradually taking account of its structural weaknesses against a domestic human and animal demand that it hard to meet, and is faced with changing food diets and exogenous risks, such as climate hazards, that the country endeavors to manage.

Following a policy of vigorous support to agriculture, Beijing is increasing its initiatives to support agricultural production and safeguard its food security through environmental measures, among others. It is a race against the clock, whose finish line seems to move away every year, due to the many challenges to be met.

The exogenous hazards confronting Chinese farmers represent a genuine challenge, not only for China but also for all agricultural economies worldwide. This challenge could also concern the key areas of agricultural production in South America as well as in Southwest Asia, when an “El Nino” phenomenon could occur this summer.

Above all, the destructive effects of climate or epizootic hazards are amplified by endogenous risks, that is to say the intrinsic and structural failures of agricultural markets––declining global reserves, automatic non-adjustment between supply and demand in agricultural markets, and speculation on agricultural commodities.

The consequences of the Chinese smog or a future “El Nino” occurrence on global markets are only the matches that ignite soaring prices on increasingly inflammable markets, as regulatory mechanisms are being dismantled and uncontrolled speculation is increasing.

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Paris, 16 December 2018