context: A year after the anti-food-waste campaign targeting catering businesses was launched, efforts are moving upstream. Curbing grain losses on the production side needs coordinated improvement of farmland quality, farming practices and mechanised operations. More regulations following the Anti Food Waste Law can be expected.

MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) calls for improving the quality of mechanised harvesting to reduce losses of rice, wheat and corn. Critical periods include the summer harvest, harvest of early rice and the autumn harvest. MARA stipulates the need to

  • conduct capacity building for machinery operators through training, testing, on-field guidance and competition
  • leverage machinery purchase subsidies to encourage farmers to buy advanced, safe and environmentally friendly machines
  • ramp up machinery testing and evaluation to eliminate outdated products
  • encourage R&D on highly efficient harvesters, upgrading key accessories including headers, threshing units, separating units and cleaning units
  • enhance the capacity of emergency response to natural disasters

The International Conference on Food Loss and Waste will be held in Shandong (9-11 Sep 2021). Bringing together officials and experts from over 50 countries, the event is expected to build global consensus on food loss reduction and help the ag sector cope with climate change and green development.

At the press conference before the event, Ma Youxiang 马有祥 MARA vice minister summarised the state’s efforts to curb grain waste in four areas

  • upgrading infrastructure: the key is to strengthen farmland of a high standard, farmland irrigation systems and on-farm cold chain facilities
  • promoting new tech and equipment: the mechanised harvest of summer grain and early rice can cut grain losses by 1.5 million tonnes
  • minimising the negative impact of climate and bio disasters
  • legalising the movement opposing food waste