Grain Crisis to China Cause by Locust Plague and Its Preventive Measures

By Ting Zhao ,  Aijiao Liu   

Billions of Locusts have swept Horn of Africa and South Asia countries. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the swarms of locust could grow up to 500 times of their current size in the near future. The global grain output is fixed. The United States is a major grain producer. Half of the countries in the world mainly rely on the United States for grain imports. With a large population in South Asia and Africa, there is a large demand for grain. Once there is a shortage of grain in Africa and South Asia, American grain will inevitably become the target of African and south Asian countries. The imbalance between supply and demand of grain in the international market will lead to higher grain prices and affect China’s grain security.

  1. The Impact of Locust plague on China’s Grain Safety

High grain prices led to overspending on grain imports. Grain prices are an important indicator of grain security. The increase in grain prices caused will drive up the prices of all other goods, making low – and middle-income people and poor people unable to afford the grain they need to survive, leading to a grain crisis. Under the condition of grain shortage, some countries will further increase grain imports. For the sake of national security, the major exporting countries will impose restrictions on grain exports. Coupled with other speculative factors, grain price will further be pushed up, posing threats on global grain security. The FAO says so far there have been 37 countries facing grain crisis. The huge amount of grain China imports from the United States each year will likely face higher prices than financial budgets, resulting in impacts on the China’s finances.

Under the conditions of trade liberalization, locust plague will pose a threat to China’s grain supply chain. For the comparative advantage, Some developing countries in Africa and South Asia reduce subsides on grain production and even totally depend on grain importation. These countries just produce the dominant grain domestically, leading low grain production capacity and a vulnerable grain supply system. However, some developed countries pay much attention to grain subsidies, which not only reduces the cost of grain exports, but also hits agriculture markets in other developing countries. After the locust plague, countries in Africa and South Asia suffering damage will import grain products from other countries to make up for grain shortage. Thus, not only the supply chain of local superior grain in these countries will be destroyed, but also China’s grain supply chain will be affected.

  1. The Preventive Measures

Establishing long-term and stable grain trade relations and optimizing the regional import structure. It is necessary to establish stable international trade relations and stabilize grain import channels because importing large amount of grain from abroad has been a normal. China should consider the long-term development, within the framework of the WTO, actively sign regional and bilateral agreements on grain trade, enhance trade contacts with all related grain importer and exporter and increase the proportion of mid- and long-term grain trade contract, reduce the proportion of temporary import and export grain contract and establish long-term trade relations of grain. In the future, it is necessary to expand international grain trading partners, reduce market risks and political risks caused by excessive concentration of grain import and export markets, enhance the initiative and right of discourse in grain import and export trade, and avoid being passive in grain international trade due to excessive concentration of grain import and export countries.

Increasing support for grain production and protecting grain production capacity. First, the existing cultivated land should be strictly protected. With the development of industrialization and urbanization, the cultivated land area has been decreasing, resulting in blind enclosure and waste of cultivated land in some areas. Therefore, the task of protecting cultivated land is very arduous. In the future, China need adopt more stringent measures and more severe punishment measures, effectively strengthen the protection of cultivated land and basic farmland, strictly control the occupation of non-agricultural main land, and ensure that the total amount of basic farmland is not reduced and its use is not changed. Second, grain science and technology should be promoted. Under the condition of limited resources, only scientific and technological progress can improve the yield per unit area. Financial support and input for the development of agriculture should be further increased. China needs to strengthen the construction of scientific and technological personnel, enhance the ability of scientific and independent technological innovation, make breakthroughs in the cultivation of superior varieties and cultivation techniques, and promote the steady growth of grain production. Third, China should improve subsidy policy. In the aggregate, grain supporting polices is price and subsidy policies. The main content of the price policy is to implement the minimum purchase price policy and to implement the temporary purchase at the fixed price. In the future, farmers’ enthusiasm for production will be protected. The practice of the state acquisition and monopoly when market prices are low should be changed and some space for the market should be left to market players to encourage them to participate in market acquisition and market competition. The subsidy policy should be properly integrated such as reducing procedures and improving the pertinence and effectiveness of subsidies.

Improving the grain reservation system and establishing a buffer mechanism for grain import and export. Grain reservation is the need of national security, market regulation, farmers’ and consumers’ interests and various emergencies. Grain reservation can contribute to the establishment of a buffer mechanism for grain imports and exports. In the process of the construction of grain reservation system, some measures should be emphasized. The proportion and structure of grain reservation should be proper. In other words, a certain scale of grain reservation should be maintained. Unnecessary financial expenditure due to excessive reservation and a shortage of grain resources should be avoided. The proportion of corn, wheat and rice should be reasonable. Second, layout and scheduling should be considered. The layout should consider the relationship between producing areas and marketing areas, between coastal areas and the interior, between the south and the north, between cities and rural areas, between the cost and grain and many other factors. Third, scientific decision-making and timely regulation are important. After years of practice and exploration, a relatively scientific decision-making process and decision-making mechanism for grain regulation and control has been gradually established. The monitoring and tracking system of grain market information has been constantly improved. Relevant departments conduct analysis and consultation from time to time and put forward suggestions and opinions on grain market regulation. Fourth, interaction from all levels forms a consistent force. In market regulation and control, the role of central reservation and local reservation should be effectively played, and the linkage between central and local governments should act consistently to standardization the national grain market regulation and improve the efficiency and effect of regulation and control.

Ting Zhao   Yunnan university of Business Management

Aijiao Liu   Yunnan Academy of Police Officer