09 Nov 2012

High efficient ecological farming should be the only right way for China to go

There are many resources and environmental problems existed in China’s agriculture. These problems greatly reduced the efficiency and limited the sustainable development of agricultural production. They mainly include:
  1. Resource problems— in recent years, annually 330,000 ha farmland were reduced in the country and farmland for each person only occupied 45% of the world’s average level. About 15% of the land is desert. Each year, about 10 million tons of grain food and US$30 billion were lose by natural disasters such as flooding and drought. In north China, sand and dust devil happened much more frequently in recent years.
  2. Environmental problems— a recent environmental investigation report indicated that agriculture was the most important contributor of groundwater pollution. In recent years, annually 1.35 million tons of N and 142,000 tons of P were moved from agriculture to environment. They contributed about 57.2% of total N and 67.4% of total P pollution. In agricultural pollution, animal farming contributed 96%, 38% and 56% of total Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), total N and total P. There were 133,000 ha farmland has been occupied and damaged by solid city wastes, total 7.3% of irrigated farmland is using polluted water and it is 1.6 times of that in 10 years ago. On the 9% of the world’s farmland, China used 35% (46.37 million tons) and 20% (1.2 million tons) of the world’s chemical fertilizer and pesticide. According to the sowing area, China used chemical fertilizer over 400 kg/ha and it is 78% higher than the critical fertilizer application rate which recommended by developed countries.

The main reasons for these problems are:
  1. People focused on industry and economic development, ignored agricultural environment and resource protection.
  2. Unbalanced and over application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  3. Government paid more attention to crop high yield production but ignored the monitoring of environmental pollution.
  4. With small size farming system in the country, it is impossible to realize environmental sound farming.

Therefore, for sustainable agricultural production, high efficient ecological farming should be the only right way for China to go in future. We need to maximum and efficient use our agricultural resources, greatly increase chemical fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency. Larger farm size and mechanization are needed for intensive farming.

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