A first postcard from biotechnological China

Does China need biotechnology? The answer from China seems to be an emphatic yes. We have only 7% of the world's land, and yet are feeding 22% of the world's population. China's per capita tillable land and per capita consumption of fresh water are both one-fourth those of the world's averages. It is estimated that our population will reach 1.6 billion by 2030 (from 1.3 billion now) and food consumption will reach 650 million tons, compared with present production of 500 million tons. On top of

Zhao Zhizhen
Jun 21, 2000

Does China need biotechnology? The answer from China seems to be an emphatic yes. We have only 7% of the world's land, and yet are feeding 22% of the world's population. China's per capita tillable land and per capita consumption of fresh water are both one-fourth those of the world's averages. It is estimated that our population will reach 1.6 billion by 2030 (from 1.3 billion now) and food consumption will reach 650 million tons, compared with present production of 500 million tons. On top of that we are making the transition from a life with just enough food and clothing to being comparatively well-off, and the demand for other farm produce such as meat, fish, eggs and milk, too, will greatly increase. Also, our modernization drive seems likely to drastically decrease the area of tillable land, owing to the demand for land for other uses. And then we must...

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