BEIJING, CHINA — Seeking to improve its food security, China on Dec. 3 published a new draft law on management of its grain reserves that will include oversight of stocks in regions and provinces.

The law was drawn up as “new situations and questions have risen regarding grains reserves security administration, posing severe challenges to China’s grains stockpile security,” the National Development and Reform Commission said.

Previously, rules governing China’s grain reserves only applied to its central state stockpiles.

To ensure food security during the global COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China in late 2019, the country said it was developing short- and long-term plans regarding its grain reserves.

The new law stipulates how the reserve volumes should be set and the products to be included, as well as when the grains can be released.

The Chinese government has indicated that reserves should only be used in cases of obvious grains shortage, significant price moves, major natural disasters or other emergencies.

The document also encourages urban and rural residents to stockpile grains in a reasonable way.

During the last nine months, China has imported record amounts of grains, including large amounts of soybeans from Brazil as well as significant shipments of corn and soybeans from the United States.