II. Prospects for China's Consumption
Demand for Grain
In the years to come a scientific and moderate food consumption pattern which keeps pace with the national economic growth and conforms to the situation of the nation's agricultural resources should be brought into being among both the urban and rural residents. The Chinese government will strive to avoid a rapid increase in grain demand beyond the supply capacity through guided grain consumption and tapping the grain-producing potential as well as the potential of non-grain food production.
Since 1984, though the per capita share of grain has been relatively stable, the nutritional status of the Chinese people has markedly improved because of the increased supply of food of animal origin. Food supply per person per day in terms of calories reaches 2,727 kilocalories, including those from 70 grams of protein and 52 grams of fat. This figure is higher than the figures for those other countries with per capita GNP comparable to China's. Therefore, it can be said that the food supply in China has basically reached the average world level.
In accordance with the ``China Dietary Pattern Reform and Development Program in the 1990s'' and the dietary habits of the Chinese people, a food consumption pattern featuring medium calories, high protein and low fat will be gradually brought into being among both urban and rural residents. On the basis of retaining the traditional food structure, food of animal origin will be added to a proper extent to improve the food quality. This gradual change in the food consumption pattern will cause the staple food consumption to decrease while the supply of grain used for feed will gradually increase. Based on this assumption and by making unswerving efforts in grain production, China's per capita share of grain is estimated to reach approximately 400 kg by 2030, despite the fact that the population will reach a new peak. Over half of the 400 kg will be used for staple foodstuffs, while the rest will be used for producing food of animal origin so as to satisfy the need to improve the living standard and the nutritional level of the people.
The Chinese government believes that the above-mentioned food consumption pattern is likely to be realized. First, China has great potential for developing diversified food production, though the per capita grain share will not be increased by a big margin. Non-staple food will play an increasingly greater role in substituting for staple food as the supply of meat, eggs, aquatic products, fruit and vegetables increases. Second, the rapidly increasing demand for commercial grain used for feed can be slowed down through promoting scientific and technological advances in aquatic farming, en"ihancing the feed efficiency and increasing the proportion of grain-saving products like herbivorous livestock and poultry and aquatic products. Third, China today is at a period of low increase in food consumption. The experiences of many other countries prove that food consumption tends to be constant after having reached a certain level. The present-day urban food consumption level in China as a low-income country has gone beyond the practical limit.
This was caused by lack of domestic investment channels and the fact that people spend a greater proportion of their incomes on food. In the future the proportion of their increased incomes spent on housing and transportation will increase along with the implementation of medical, housing and other social security reforms. At the same time, the proportion of food expenses in the total consumption expenses of the people will decrease gradually and the increase of food consumption will be behind the income increase.
In the light of the above trend of change in consumption pattern and the estimated population growth, China's demand for grain in the next few decades is projected as follows: By 2000 the population will reach 1.3 billion and the total demand for grain will be 500 million tons, based on 385 kg per person; by 2010 the population will approach 1.4 billion and the total demand for grain will be 550 million tons, based on 390 kg per person; and by 2030 the population will peak at 1.6 billion and the total demand for grain will be approximately 640 million tons, based on 400 kg per person.