Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (6): 1001-1019.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-1982-9

• Research article •     Next Articles

China’s food security situation and key questions in the new era: A perspective of farmland protection

LIANG Xinyuan1,2(), JIN Xiaobin1,2,3,*(), HAN Bo1, SUN Rui1, XU Weiyi1, LI Hanbing1, HE Jie4, LI Jin5   

  1. 1.School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2.Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Exploitation and Protection, Ministry of Natural Resources, Nanjing 210023, China
    3.Natural Resources Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    4.Wuhan Planning and Research Institute, Wuhan 430014, China
    5.Pinggang Middle School, Shenzhen 518116, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2021-08-18 Accepted:2022-01-07 Online:2022-06-25 Published:2022-08-25
  • Contact: JIN Xiaobin;
  • About author:Liang Xinyuan, specialized in sustainable land use and food security. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Fund of China(19ZDA096);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971234);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971235);Postgraduate Research and Practice Innovation Project of Jiangsu Province(KYCX21_0039);Open Fund of Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Exploitation and Protection, Ministry of Natural Resources(2021CZEPK07)


As the world’s largest developing country, the ability of China’s agricultural resource utilization to effectively support the current and future food security goals has been affected by a variety of factors (e.g., transformed supply channels, tightening international situation and frequent emergencies) in recent years and has attracted extensive attention from the academic community subject to multiple factors. This study uses literature review, statistical analysis, and spatial analysis methods to systematically explore China’s food security situation in the context of farmland resource constraints. It is found that the demand-side pressures such as demographic changes, social class differentiation, and dietary structure adjustments derived from economic growth and rapid urbanization have placed extremely high expectations on food supply. However, the quantitative restrictions, utilization ways, and health risks of farmland resources on the supply side constitute a huge hidden concern that affects the stability of food production. Although China’s farmland protection system is undergoing a transition from focusing on quantity management to sustainable use, the matching and coordinating demand pressure and supply capacity for food security is unbalanced. Therefore, facing uncertain future development scenarios, policymakers should focus on building a resilient space for China’s farmland protection to withstand the interference of major emergencies. The existing farmland protection space policy can be integrated by establishing a national farmland strategic reserve system (based on resilient space), and further development of targeted use control measures for zoning, grading, and classification will help realize sustainable China’s farmland resources use.

Key words: food security, systematical analysis, key questions, farmland protection, resilient space, China