Water management and crop production for food security in China: A review

Shahbaz Khan, Munir Ahmad Hanjra, Jianxin Mu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Citations (Scopus)


Food security is a high priority issue on the Chinese political agenda. China's food security is challenged by several anthropogenic, sociopolitical and policy factors, including: population growth; urbanization and industrialization; land use changes and water scarcity; income growth and nutritional transition; and turbulence in global energy and food markets. Sustained growth in agricultural productivity and stable relations with global food suppliers are the twin anchors of food security. Shortfalls in domestic food production can take their toll on international food markets. Turbulence in global energy markets can affect food prices and supply costs, affecting food security and poverty. Policy safeguards are needed to shield food supply against such forces. China must make unremitting policy responses to address the loss of its fertile land for true progress towards the goal of national food security, by investing in infrastructure such as irrigation, drainage, storage, transport, and agricultural research and institutional reforms such as tenure security and land market liberalization. The links between water and other development-related sectors such as population, energy, food, and environment, and the interactions among them require reckoning, as they together will determine future food security and poverty reduction in China. Climate change is creating a new level of uncertainty in water governance, requiring accelerated research to avoid water-related stresses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-360
Number of pages12
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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