Date of this Version
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2019) 10:1725
China produces 28% of global rice supply and is currently self-sufficient despite a massive rural-to-urban demographic transition that drives intense competition for land and water resources. At issue is whether it will remain self-sufficient, which depends on the potential to raise yields on existing rice land. Here we report a detailed spatial analysis of rice production potential in China and evaluate scenarios to 2030. We find that China is likely to remain self-sufficient in rice assuming current yield and consumption trajectories and no reduction in production area. A focus on increasing yields of double-rice systems on general, and in three single-rice provinces where yield gaps are relatively large, would provide greatest return on investments in research and development to remain self-sufficient. Discrepancies between results from our detailed bottom-up yield-gap analysis and those derived following a topdown methodology show that the two approaches would result in very different research and development priorities.