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Agri-environment policy for grain production in China: toward sustainable intensification

Agri-environment policy for grain production in China: toward sustainable intensification PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to analyze the historical pattern of environmental cost due to grain production in China and to provide further implications of technologies and policies for the transformation of China’s agricultural development toward sustainable intensification.Design/methodology/approachThe data sets about grain production, arable land and chemical fertilizer use in China were collected from FAO, NBSC, and IFA. Greenhouse gas emissions were estimated using life cycle assessments. The policies concerning grain production and the environment were collected from the Ministry of Agriculture, and the State Council of China.FindingsChina has produced enough food to feed its growing population, but has neglected the resource-environmental costs of grain production since 1978. Consequently, China’s grain production is always accompanied with a high cost of resource and environment sustainability. However, from 2006 to 2015, the growth rate of grain production has surpassed that of chemical fertilizer consumption, resulting in improvement in nutrient use efficiency and decreasing trends of environmental cost for grain production. This could be partially attributed to technology innovations, such as Soil-Testing and Fertilizer-Recommendations (STFR), soil quality and crop management improvement, and so on, and policy supports (policies of STFR, soil quality improvement, and high-yield construction). This indicated that China’s grain production is starting to transform from high-input and high-output model to “less for more.”Originality/valueThis study is the first to determine the detailed, historical role of technological innovation and agri-environmental policy on the sustainability of grain production in China. The findings should have significant implications for technology and policy for the transformation of China’s agriculture development to sustainable intensification. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Agricultural Economic Review Emerald Publishing

Agri-environment policy for grain production in China: toward sustainable intensification

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-137X
DOI
10.1108/CAER-10-2017-0201
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to analyze the historical pattern of environmental cost due to grain production in China and to provide further implications of technologies and policies for the transformation of China’s agricultural development toward sustainable intensification.Design/methodology/approachThe data sets about grain production, arable land and chemical fertilizer use in China were collected from FAO, NBSC, and IFA. Greenhouse gas emissions were estimated using life cycle assessments. The policies concerning grain production and the environment were collected from the Ministry of Agriculture, and the State Council of China.FindingsChina has produced enough food to feed its growing population, but has neglected the resource-environmental costs of grain production since 1978. Consequently, China’s grain production is always accompanied with a high cost of resource and environment sustainability. However, from 2006 to 2015, the growth rate of grain production has surpassed that of chemical fertilizer consumption, resulting in improvement in nutrient use efficiency and decreasing trends of environmental cost for grain production. This could be partially attributed to technology innovations, such as Soil-Testing and Fertilizer-Recommendations (STFR), soil quality and crop management improvement, and so on, and policy supports (policies of STFR, soil quality improvement, and high-yield construction). This indicated that China’s grain production is starting to transform from high-input and high-output model to “less for more.”Originality/valueThis study is the first to determine the detailed, historical role of technological innovation and agri-environmental policy on the sustainability of grain production in China. The findings should have significant implications for technology and policy for the transformation of China’s agriculture development to sustainable intensification.

Journal

China Agricultural Economic ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 5, 2018

References