A recipe for trade-offs: the evolving landscape of food security in China

IIED Briefing
, 4 pages
PDF (187.97 KB)
Published: November 2015
IIED Briefing Papers
Product code:17320IIED

Rapid growth and urbanisation are affecting diets in China, creating tension among competing food-related policy goals. Between 1980 and 2010, the country’s urban population grew from 191 million to 636 million. Stronger links between rural and urban areas have also led to multiple and diverse food supply chains. Although hunger is now rare, two new food-related challenges are emerging: the rise of health problems from richer diets; and safety concerns caused by pollution, agricultural practices, the inappropriate use of additives and the adulteration of food. Policymakers must reconcile multi-faceted components of food security such as quality, cost and safety, while at the same time targeting the distinct needs of rural and urban areas.