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Last Updated : Feb 25, 2018 01:19 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

China’s mega food factories: How the world’s most populous country makes food

The country having close to 300 million acres of arable land faces a unique task of feeding its 1.4 billion people.

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A farmer dries newly harvested corn cobs near her field in Zhuliang village of Qingzhou, Shandong province. China is facing the task of feeding nearly one-fifth of the world’s population with less than one-tenth of its farmland. (Reuters)
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A farmer dries newly harvested corn cobs near her field in Zhuliang village of Qingzhou, Shandong province. China is facing the task of feeding nearly one-fifth of the world’s population with less than one-tenth of its farmland. (Reuters)

Employees check and place tofu to dry at a yard of a workshop in Qinguangdao, Hebei Province, China. The second largest country of the world has close to 90% of farms less than 2.5 acres, and the average farm size is among the smallest in the world. (REUTERS)
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Employees check and place tofu to dry at a yard of a workshop in Qinguangdao, Hebei Province, China. The second largest country of the world has close to 90% of farms less than 2.5 acres, and the average farm size is among the smallest in the world. (REUTERS)

Over 10,000 pieces of shark fins placed to dry on the rooftop of a factory in Hong Kong. Close to 67% of China's population is urban and has western consumption patterns. (REUTERS)
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Over 10,000 pieces of shark fins placed to dry on the rooftop of a factory in Hong Kong. Close to 67% of China's population is urban and has western consumption patterns. (REUTERS)

A vinegar and soy sauce mill in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province. | The Chinese eat nearly three times as much meat as in 1990. Consumption of milk and dairy went up to four times from 1995 to 2010 in urban areas. China also consumes more processed foods, increasing by two-thirds from 2008 to 2016. (REUTERS)
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A vinegar and soy sauce mill in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province. | The Chinese eat nearly three times as much meat as in 1990. Consumption of milk and dairy went up to four times from 1995 to 2010 in urban areas. China also consumes more processed foods, increasing by two-thirds from 2008 to 2016. (REUTERS)

Preparation of traditional candy "Matang" | China's arid terrain has forced the country to come up with alternatives ranging from small high-tech farms to gleaming food processing facilities. (REUTERS)
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Preparation of traditional candy "Matang" | China's arid terrain has forced the country to come up with alternatives ranging from small high-tech farms to gleaming food processing facilities. (REUTERS)

Home-made rice noodles in Changting county, Fujian province | China still finds itself short of grains, soy beans and other commodities. It beat the United States as the largest importer of food grains in 2012. (Reuters)
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Home-made rice noodles in Changting county, Fujian province | China still finds itself short of grains, soy beans and other commodities. It beat the United States as the largest importer of food grains in 2012. (Reuters)

Newly-harvested red chili spread out to dry in the sun in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region | Industrial farms like this run to the thousands in acres. They are mostly state-run and worked on by imported equipment. (REUTERS)
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Newly-harvested red chili spread out to dry in the sun in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region | Industrial farms like this run to the thousands in acres. They are mostly state-run and worked on by imported equipment. (REUTERS)

China's organic farming sector has grown 30 times since 2006, in response to the industrial scale of farming carried out by the government and corporate entities. (REUTERS)
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China's organic farming sector has grown 30 times since 2006, in response to the industrial scale of farming carried out by the government and corporate entities. (REUTERS)

Employees at a production line of a chicken processing factory in Shenyang, Liaoning province. | Large scale dairy and meat processing is the norm in China. Dairy Farms go as far as 600 acres, and going up to 40,000 cows at maximum capacity. (REUTERS)
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Employees at a production line of a chicken processing factory in Shenyang, Liaoning province. | Large scale dairy and meat processing is the norm in China. Dairy Farms go as far as 600 acres, and going up to 40,000 cows at maximum capacity. (REUTERS)

First Published on Feb 25, 2018 01:19 pm
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