Discussion Paper

No. 2013-2 | January 07, 2013
Chinese Food Security and Climate Change: Agriculture Futures
(Published in Special Issue Food Security and Climate Change)


Food security in China affects the livelihood and well-being of one-fifth of the world population. Climate change is now affecting agriculture and food production in every country of the world. Here the authors present the IMPACT model results on yield, production, and net trade of major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in China, and on daily calorie availability as an overall indicator of food security under climate change scenarios and socio-economic pathways in 2050. The obtained results show that wheat, maize, and rice yields will increase by 17%, 45%, and 15%, alongside price increases of 60%, 100%, and 40%, respectively, during 2010–2050. Crop production is projected to increase by 23%, 70%, and 3% reaching 123, 240, and 125 million tons for wheat, maize, and rice, respectively, in 2050. The results also show that China will remain a major importer of maize at 20 million tons per year, but turn from a net importer of rice (5 million tons per year in 2010) to a net exporter in 2020 (5–9 million tons per year by 2050), while becoming a self-sufficient consumer of wheat by 2050. The outcomes of calorie availability suggest that China will be able to maintain a level of at least 3,000 kilocalories per day through 2010–2050. Climate change has relatively little effect on calorie availability within a pathway scenario.The authors conclude that Chinese agriculture is relatively resilient to climate change. Chinese food security by 2050 will unlikely be compromised in the context of climate change. The major challenge to food security, however, will rise from increasing demand coupled with regional disparities in the adaptive capacity to climate change.

Paper submitted to the special issue
Food Security and Climate Change

JEL Classification:

Q18, Q54, Q56


  • Downloads: 4659


Cite As

Liming Ye, Huajun Tang, Wenbin Wu, Peng Yang, Gerald C. Nelson, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, and Amanda Palazzo (2013). Chinese Food Security and Climate Change: Agriculture Futures. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2013-2, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2013-2

Comments and Questions

Gbadebo Odularu - Invited Reader Comment
January 17, 2013 - 10:06

see attached file

Huajun Tang - Response
May 13, 2013 - 19:32

Please see our responses in the attached file.

Anonymous - Referee Report 1
February 04, 2013 - 09:45

see attached file

Huajun Tang - Reply to Referee Report 1
May 20, 2013 - 11:41

Please see attached file.

Anonymous - Referee Report 2
February 06, 2013 - 09:20

see attached file

Huajun Tang - Reply to Referee Report 2
May 19, 2013 - 11:45

Reply attached.

Anonymous - Informative report which takes time to read
February 20, 2013 - 19:19

The report attracted me soon after I started reading the introduction. It took me days to finish because I did not have a whole uninterrupted piece of time. Generally speaking, the report is well written and informative. It provides a different perspective on the climate change-food security business in China ...[more]

... based on their model results. What I liked most was the mixed flavor of natural-social sciences in the analysis of the results and in the discussion of available adaptation/mitigation techniques. It would be good to make the report shorter by being more selective on the figures although they are helpful for an average reader like me.

Huajun Tang - Response
May 13, 2013 - 19:41

Thank you for sharing your views with us. We are so happy to read your comments, which will encourage us to make additional efforts in revising the paper. We'll definitely follow your advice and make the paper shorter. We are also considering to make some of the figures/maps available as ...[more]

... "supplemental online materials" if the journal allows to do so.

The Authors

Anonymous - You are welcome
May 20, 2013 - 16:17

I look forward to reading your revised paper soon.