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Fujian takes the lead in exploring macro food concept

By Hu Meidong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-21 09:30

A fish farmer selects fish for his customers in Ningde, Fujian province. HU MEIDONG/CHINA DAILY

Food is a fundamental necessity for all people. To ensure national food security in the modern era, it is crucial to adopt an all-encompassing approach to agriculture and food production. This includes promoting the integrated development of farming, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, exploring diverse food sources, and building a multifaceted food supply system.

Over the past 30 years, Fujian has continuously explored and innovated, adhering to the concept of the macro food strategy. This dedication has not only enriched food supplies but also driven advancements in technological research and the modernization of facilities.

Fujian has embarked on a journey toward modernizing its mindset. China possesses 9 percent of the world's arable land and 6 percent of its freshwater resources, yet sustains nearly one-fifth of the global population. This remarkable feat is both a miracle and a significant challenge to water and land resources, especially as water scarcity intensifies, heightening food security pressures. Therefore, it is essential to move beyond traditional food supply models and develop diverse food resources through various avenues to promote food source diversification. The macro food concept provides a theoretical foundation for the modernization and diversification of resource development.

Leveraging its diverse agricultural resources and favorable climate, Fujian has placed significant emphasis on developing forestry-related industries such as Anoectochilus roxburghii, edible fungi, and Chinese herbal medicine. This approach has successfully balanced ecological conservation with resource diversification.

Additionally, Fujian has made significant strides in modernizing core technological research and development. Recognizing technology as the key to food security, the province has prioritized independent innovation. Notable achievements include the development of Ningde's gene chips for large yellow croaker breeding, Sunner's breakthrough in ending the monopoly of foreign broiler breeds, and the increased production of Pingnan small potatoes through detoxification technology. To mitigate the risk of rainfall transmitting plant diseases and spoiling crops, vast rain shelters have been installed over vineyards in Fu'an, resulting in $207 million in annual sales. These innovative measures have accelerated improvements in both the quantity and quality of food supplies.

Furthermore, Fujian has made notable progress in modernizing its facilities. Three kilometers off the coast of Lianjiang county in Fujian province, a state-of-the-art $2.5-million deep-sea fish farm stretches far and wide, engineered to endure even the fiercest typhoons. Nearby, 10 similar platforms contribute to a combined annual output of 2,000 tons of seafood. What's more, to mitigate the risk of rainfall transmitting plant diseases and spoiling crops, vast rain shelters have been installed over vineyards in Fu'an, a county-level jurisdiction overseen by Ningde. This innovative approach has helped the vineyards achieve $207 million in annual sales.

Fujian is moving toward modernization in management. Currently, China's grape production is experiencing surplus. In response, the management team in Fu'an has implemented modern agricultural scientific management methods to enhance grape quality and address market competition. By reducing production by 56 percent to achieve quality improvement goals, they have significantly increased market competitiveness. The Sanduao sea area in Ningde is an important marine aquaculture base in China. However, excessive aquaculture has led to issues such as disputes among aquaculture operators. Ningde has undertaken a large-scale comprehensive rectification of offshore aquaculture, with a total investment of 45.48 billion yuan ($629.8 billion), resulting in the clearance and upgrading of 1.43 million fish rafts. Today, aquaculture practices have been standardized, islands are clean, and navigation channels are clear. Moreover, Xiapu seaweed agricultural products have expanded their sales channels through live streaming platforms such as Douyin and Gutian silver ear fungi have significantly reduced production costs through modernized production workshops.

By embracing and implementing the macro food concept, China can diversify its food structure, expand food sources, promote sustainable food development, and enhance the resilience of its food industry and supply chains. This approach ensures that the Chinese people maintain a firm grip on their rice bowls while fostering new high-quality productive forces.

The author is the head of China Daily Fujian Bureau. 

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