The mainland's food supply could be at risk if more farmland is not found, officials have warned. Officials said feeding the mainland's 1.3 billion people would prove a daunting task if the trend of decreasing arable land could not be halted. 'The task ahead is tough. If we remain inactive in the face of decreasing arable land, our food supply will be at risk,' said Wang Tao, an official with the National People's Congress Standing Committee. Hubei province - a key grain and rice producer - highlights the seriousness of the problem. The province's cultivated land per capita now stands at 0.08 hectares, about 30 per cent below the national average, Xinhua reported. Han Yong, of Hubei's Land Management Bureau, said a shortage of funds was hampering efforts to find new farmland. 'We are trying to develop the land that is suitable for farming, but has not been tilled before,' Mr Han said. 'However, the problem is not as easy to solve as expected,' he said. Zhang Wanli, an expert at the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, said funding was inadequate as the state was often unable to collect compensation from individuals and government officials who had occupied farmland. Another ministry expert, Su Weixin, said afforestation campaigns had put further pressure on provinces with insufficient arable land. The campaign, which started about a year ago, asked farmers to give up planting crops and turn land over for tree growing. In return, the Government promised to offer farmers subsidises to buy seedlings and free grain. Xinhua said the Government now hopes to alleviate the pressure on farmland by moving more farmers to towns and slapping heavy penalties for encroaching on to land set aside for farming.