Resources Science ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (8): 1495-1504.doi: 10.18402/resci.2018.08.01

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

The status of China’s overseas farmland investment

Zhen SUN1(), Shaofeng JIA1,2(), Aifeng LV1,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academic of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Geographic Sciences, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-01-08 Revised:2018-04-10 Online:2018-08-25 Published:2018-08-10


The accurate and comprehensive information of overseas farmland investment plays an important role in related studies. This research provides a scientific foundation for the national decision-making departments to guide Chinese enterprises in the overseas farmland investment, and has a great significance for both global and domestic food security. However, due to the lack of valid data about China’s overseas farmland investment, the history and present status of the investment, including the contract area, target country and deal, had rarely been investigated. In current study, based on the GRAIN dataset, Landmatrix dataset, as well as data from China's overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, China’s overseas farmland investment dataset was built. The results illustrated that the contract area of China's overseas farmland investment obtained in this study is more accurate and comprehensive than the existing research results. The target countries in the year 2015 were mainly the ones with low level income and rich farmland resource. Both the contract area and number of deals demonstrated increasing trends, and the distribution of the target countries was more widespread from 2008 to 2015. The scale of China’s overseas farmland investment is still rather limited. The contract area accounts for only 2. 0% of domestic farmland, while the proportion of overseas grain production importing to China is lower than that. This article proposes that China should strengthen the propaganda of the justice about China’s overseas farmland investment activities, and its important contribution to global food security, and further increase the policy support and scientific guidance for Chinese enterprises to invest in overseas farmland

Key words: overseas farmland investment, contract area, Landmatrix dataset, GRAIN dataset, overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, China