Food Consumption for the Poor: A Supply or an Income Issue? Evidence from Less-favored Regions in Rural China

The world food crisis has brought about heated discussions on policy responses and actions to achieve future stability and security in food consumption for the poor. While many viewing it as a supply proglem and propose to cope with it by incrasing self-supply, there are also propostitions of viewing it more as an income problem. This paper has taken the experience of China into study. Being the most populous nation in the world and with rural low-income and low food consumption groups still a noticeable portion in the rural area, China has devoted strenuous efforts by utilizing various policy approaches. This paper has estimated empirically the impact of different policy measures, i.e., the predominantly used traditional policy aimed at increasing self-production locally, the “supply” approach, and the pro-market approach of increasing income to purchase more food from market, the “income” approach, on the improvement of food security in disadvantageous regions in rural China, Both Provincial and household data are used in the research, with particular attention paid to regions characterized by low income and low grain production. The results show that with the county’s transition into market system, higher ratio of grain sown area to total cultivate area, as advocated by grain self-sufficiency policy, would hardly lead to improved grain and food consumption for disadvantageous farmers in less-favored regions. On the contrary, it might lead to a worsened food security situation. The increase of income, on the other hand, will help farmers in poor and grain insufficient regions to improve their food security status. It is hoped that the experience from China will help to provide additional evidence for the discussion of policy alternatives for food security for other developing countries.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Q18; Q01
Series Statement:
Selected Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)