A senior government official has said that China will avoid investing in overseas farmland, particularly in Africa, as such deals would not improve the country’s food security, the Financial Times reported. China’s deputy agriculture minister, Niu Dun, said at a conference in Italy that Beijing will prefer to produce its own grain rather than invest in land overseas to meet food needs. “We cannot rely on [investments in] other countries for our own food security. We have to depend on ourselves,” Niu told the paper. Countries such as South Korea and Saudi Arabia have been investing in land overseas in order to meet food needs at home. A similar decision by China, which is the world’s largest consumer and producer of cereals, would have far-reaching implications for global agriculture and environmental sustainability.