Closing yield gaps for rice self-sufficiency in China

Nanyan Deng, Patricio Grassini, Haishun Yang, Jianliang Huang, Kenneth G. Cassman, Shaobing Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


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 top-down methodology show that the two approaches would result in very different research and development priorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1725
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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