China, the world's largest food consumer, finds itself faced with obstacles to preserving farmland amid its deepening urbanization, as well as to meeting the growing demand for farm products, a senior agriculture official said on Thursday. This is likely to lead to higher grain imports, despite the country's bumper grain harvests in the past nine consecutive years, agricultural experts and analysts said. "Over the past decade, China's overall supply of agricultural products has grown at a slower pace than its fast-growing economy," said Chen Xiwen, director of the Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee's Leading Group on Rural Work. "This has led to increased food imports over the past few years," he added. Chen made the remarks during a speech at a forum in Beijing sponsored by Caijing magazine.