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China’s National Program for Food and Nutrition (2014-2020)

(chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2014-05-16

The program focuses on effectively securing food supplies, optimizing the food structure and improving the nutritional status of all Chinese.

Drawing a new blueprint for China’s food and nutrition up to 2020

China’s economic and social development is at a crucial stage. With urban and rural residents’ incomes continuing to rise, people’s needs for food is rapidly shifting from simply securing enough food to eating healthier.

At present, China’s food production cannot meet the nutritional needs of its people. Under-nutrition and over-nutrition coexist among Chinese people, and the society lacks the knowledge on nutrition and health. In order to better cope with the above challenges, the State Council officially published the National Program for Food and Nutrition Development (2014-2020) on Feb 10, 2014. The Program is the third one on food and nutrition published by the Chinese government. The Program focuses on safeguarding effective food supply, optimizing food structure, and improving the nutritional status of residents.

 The Program summarizes recent achievements in food and nutrition sectors and offers a guideline for further improving food and nutrition in China for the next seven years. In line with people’s expectations for a better life, the program regards securing the food supply, facilitating a balanced nutrition development and coordinating food production and consumption as the main tasks, aiming to improve the overall health of all Chinese and lay a solid foundation for building China into a moderately prosperous society. The Program sets up four basic principles, namely food quantity and quality are equally important, thedevelopment of production and consumption should be balanced, inheritance and innovation in development should be equally considered and guidance and intervention should be integrated. The Program emphasizes “Guiding rational food consumption with modern nutritional concept, to develop a nutrition-oriented modern food industry”, “inheriting a healthy dietary tradition of consuming mainly vegetable food and less animal food, protecting food with local characteristics, innovating and booming Chinese food culture”.

It sets up clear food and nutritional goals for 2020, from the aspects of food production, food processing, food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional diseases control, demonstrating in 21 specific and assessable indicators.The indicators include China’s annual grain output remaining stable at more than 550 million tons; the annual growth rate of national food industry remaining above 10%;the annual food consumption is 135 kilograms per person;the average daily intake of energy per person is 2,200 to 2,300 kcal;the national incidence of anemia to be kept to less than 10%; a dramatic decline in the growth rate of overweight, obesity and dyslipidemia.

The Program will take action in three key aspects: securing quantity, securing quality and improving nutrition. It proposes three major tasks: building up a stable and effective food quantity security system with strong supervisory control; a complete food quality security with sound standard and effective minitoring; and a nutrition improvement system which can guide people’s consumption and could be regularly evaluated. The Program singles out three food products, three key regions and three vulnerable groups as priorities to improve food and nutrition. The three food products are high quality edible agricultural products, instant and nutritional processed food, and dairy and soy products. Three key regions are poor areas, rural areas and newly urbanized areas with a large migrant population. The three vulnerable groups are pregnant and lying-in women and infants, children and adolescents, and the elderly.

In order to achieve its goals and tasks, the Program puts forward several supporting measures, including policy measures such as increased investments in food and nutrition development, increased support for the production of edible agricultural products, developing food and nutrition guidance targeting different groups, carrying out food consumption surveys, and conducting research on key food and nutritional fields. The Program clearly required that coordination mechanism among government sectors should be established, the National Food and Nutrition Advisory Committee should continue playing its role, and local governments should make their food and nutrition development plan based on this Program.

It is reported the Program was co-led by the Ministry of Agriculture and China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. The National Development and Reform Commission, , the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Commerce were also involved. It took three years to complete. In-depth research was done, visits to many provinces were conducted and suggestions from local governments, food and nutrition experts and related enterprises were sought.

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Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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