AGRICULTURAL PERFORMANCE AND POLICY 59
modern inputs were widely used. Growth rates have been steady since the early 1960s. In a sense C4hina's agriculture remains,, as it has always been, intensive agriculture. It uses great amounts of inputs, including natural fertilizers (now supplemented by chemical fertilizers) and hand labour. Also, it emphasizes expanding multiple cropping (as it has done for centuries).' While traditional inputs (natural fertilizers and labour) are still used intensively, vast amounts of modern inputs (fertilizers,, pumps, tractors new seeds) are also being used to achieve high production on China's farmland.
FOOD FOR THE A11LLIONS
The high level of productivity of China's agriculture can be summed up by a two-sentence comparison with India: China grows 30-40 per cent more food per capita for 50 per cent more people on about 14 per cent less land. Not only is there more food, but it is shared more equitably. Detailed data to document these comparisons are presented below.4
TABL E I
FOOD STAPLE PRODUCTION, CHINA AND INDIA, 1970s
(In million metric tons)
7975 1973- 1975-
Paddy 122.0 (63.0)*
Rice (85.4)* 44.1
Wheat 38.7 21.8
Miscellaneous grain? (Barley, millet,
sorghum, maize) 80.4 28.8
Tubers (Grain equivalent) 289 1.6
Soya, pulses 10.0 10.0
Total food staple 243.4 106.3 120.8
(Rice plus other grains unprocessed)
Population** (Millions) 850 — 950 598 622
Food staple per capita
per year*** (Kilogramme^ ) 286 — 256 177 194
SOURCES: For China: The Agricultural Sifuation in the Peopled Republic and Other Communist Asian Countries' Review of 1973 and Outlook fon 1976, USDA Foreign AgricuKural Economic Report no 124. Washington DC, 1976. For India: Estimates of Aiea and Production of Pnncipal C)op^ in India, 1974-75, Directorate of Economics and Statistics. New Delhi 1976. pp 2-17. NOTES: "'Computed assuming that 100 units of paddy gives 70 units of rice.
**China: A recent compilation of provincial data suggest that the lower estimates for population are probably correct. An estimate for mid-1976 of 873 million is indicated by John Aird in a forthcoming article. India: FAO estimates for 1974. increased by 2 per cent per year.
***This is a gross figure for comparison only. and does not reflect what is available for consumption. There are processing losses and some grain is used for seed. animal feed. brewing, or is lost in transport. Imports and exports also influence availability of food for consumption.