Consolidation of agricultural land can contribute to agricultural sustainability in China

Duan, Jiakun; Ren, Chenchen; Wang, Sitong; Zhang, Xiuming; Reis, Stefan ORCID:; Xu, Jianming; Gu, Baojing. 2021 Consolidation of agricultural land can contribute to agricultural sustainability in China. Nature Food, 2. 1014-1022.

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China’s agricultural sector is dominated by smallholder farms, which mostly exhibit relatively low nutrient use efficiency, low agricultural income and substantial non-point-source pollution. Here we assess the spatial feasibility and cost-effectiveness of agricultural land consolidation in China by integrating data from over 40,000 rural surveys, ecological modelling and geostatistical analysis. We found that 86% of Chinese croplands could be consolidated to establish a large-scale farming regime with an average field size greater than 16 ha. This would result in a 59% and 91% increase in knowledge exchange and machinery use, respectively, contributing to a 24% reduction in total nitrogen input, an 18% increase in nitrogen use efficiency and a 39% reduction in labour requirement, while doubling labour income. Despite requiring a one-time investment of approximate US$370 billion for land consolidation, total agricultural profits would double due to agricultural production costs being halved.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2662-1355
Additional Keywords: agriculture, climate-change mitigation, environmental impact
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 23 Dec 2021 12:06 +0 (UTC)

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