The Impact of Flooding on China’s Agricultural Production and Food Security in 2020
In June and July 2020, severe floods wreaked havoc in many provinces in southern China (Wong 2020). China’s Ministry of Emergency Management reported that rainfall during this year’s rain season reached 759.2 mm, which is more than twice the usual amount and the highest level since 1961.1 According to news from the State Council Information Office, as of August 13, 2020, the heavy rainfall has affected 27 provinces, 63 million people, and led to a direct loss of $26 billion, which is around 0.21% of China’s estimated 2020 GDP. Specifically, the floods affected 6.03 million hectares of cropland, with 1.14 million hectares of crop failure, mostly concentrated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin.2 To put the affected cropland into perspective, the total summer crop sown area in 2020 is 26.17 million hectares; therefore, the floods affected 23% of the planted area of summer crops and caused 4.3% crop failure. After severe flooding in the Yangtze River basin, heavy rain also hit Sichuan and Shandong in mid-August, causing more agricultural production loss and pushing food prices further.