Heavy rainfall across the country . . .
China has been battling severe flooding across the country since June, with officials announcing on Wednesday that more than four million people have been evacuated in the last two months. To date, the flooding has killed 219 people and caused C$34.5 billion in damages, with the provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei, and Hunan in the central and southern parts of the country the worst affected. Record levels of rainfall caused the flooding in the country over the last two months: the Jianghuai river basin in eastern China, for instance, has seen 760 mm of rain over 62 days, the highest since 1961, according to China’s meteorological agency.
China’s food security at risk . . .
The flooding has caused significant concern for China’s food security, as water has destroyed more than 13 million acres of farmland in the country, including in the Yangtze River basin, which accounts for 70 per cent of China’s rice production. Last month, economists at Nomura, a financial services firm, estimated that the flooding could cost China C$2.3 billion in agricultural losses, but more agricultural land has been destroyed since then. With lower agricultural output, food prices have already risen by 13 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to China’s consumer price index.
Campaign to end food waste . . .
With China’s food output facing an increased risk of flood damage and continued disruption from COVID-19, President Xi Jinping has launched a ‘clean plate’ campaign to reduce food waste. In a speech, Xi called for both legislative measures and public education to cut food waste in the country. The Wuhan Catering Industry Association responded by urging local restaurants to follow the ‘N-1’ system, restricting diners to ordering one less dish than the total number of guests. Other cities are also considering measures such as offering half-size portions and takeout boxes for customers.
- CNN: “Everything is gone.’ Flooding in China ruins farmers and risks rising food prices
- The Guardian: ‘Operation empty plate’: Xi Jinping makes food waste his next target
- South China Morning Post: China’s worst floods in decades