Authorities call for technical talent that could help guarantee nation's reserves
China's food reserve authority recently released two draft plans on
strengthening reserves through technology and talent support, aiming to
make significant improvements within the next three to five years to
help guarantee the nation's food security.
According to the plans by the National Food and Strategic Reserves
Administration, a series of innovations for the strategic food reserve
will be promoted by 2025, and a special group working on technological
innovation will be created.
New technologies, such as big data, artificial intelligence, 5G
technology and cloud computing will be fully adopted by the food reserve
industry, from granary security to emergency management.
Moreover, the plans set a five-year goal to build at least five
technology platforms with collaboration between enterprises,
universities and research institutes, instilling new vitality to the
By 2025, China will have a large talent pool that is knowledgeable
about food reserves and has a higher education background, according to
"Experienced employees with excellent professional skills will take a
share of at least 28 percent of the country's total number of workers
in the industry," according to the plans.
In addition, professional education and training systems on food
reserves will be promoted at all levels nationwide by 2025, and a reward
mechanism will be established to boost innovation in the industry.
According to the administration, the two drafts are now soliciting
public opinions from research institutes and related departments at all
levels through Sept 10.
"Innovation is the driving force behind the development. We should
build a sustainable and high-quality food reserve system with support
from both new technology and talent, further contributing to the
country's food security," said Zhang Wufeng, head of the administration.
At a conference on Tuesday, Zhang said related departments also
should expand more channels to introduce high-quality talent from
overseas while making stronger efforts to develop the country's own food
Currently, China has about 1.92 million workers in the food and
strategic reserve industry, with about 35 percent having a college
education, said Jia Qian, deputy head of the administration.
Technological innovations have laid a solid foundation for the
country's strategic reserves in recent years to guarantee the nation's
food security, said Zhang Zhongjie, a researcher from the Academy of
National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration.
Of those innovations, a newly designed granary developed by research
teams from the academy has played a crucial role in reducing grain
reserve costs while making humidity and temperature control much easier,
according to Zhang.
As of last year, the new granary has been used by 97 grain
enterprises in 24 provincial areas, with total grain storage of at least
3 million metric tons. Between 2014 and 2018, the new granary cut food
storage costs by 50 million yuan ($7.1 million).
However, Zhang said the country's food reserve industry is now facing a new challenge-aging employees.
"Workers at the production line are aged 50 on average," he said.
Zhang called for more financial and policy support to encourage young
people to join the industry and suggested that food security education
be enhanced for the younger generation.
"China's grain inventory has been kept at a high level. The stockpile
of rice and wheat, two staple grains of the country, can feed the whole
population for more than one year," Zhang said. "Although China has no
problem feeding its people, we still need to treasure food, beginning