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Intensive intercropping in China

Intensive intercropping in China
Prof. Lizhen Zhang,
China Agricultural University

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Current situation of Agriculture in China

65% of the total population work in agriculture, about 1.37 billion.
Land for family is about 0.1 ha per capita.
4-5 members, 0.4-0.5 ha per family, Very small.
7% of farming land over world feeds 22% of population of the world
However, cultivated land decreased after 90s (Zhao et. Al., 2014)
web-Zhang 2014-11-12 Intercropping2

Decrease of farm land is due to:
Use in expansion of city areas, housing, road and factories due to the high growth of the economy.
Use in ecological protection area due to demands to improve living environment.
Return low yield dry land agriculture to nature ecology by increasing of labour price.
However, Land per farmer is slightly increased, because a number of farmers move into city areas (Li et al., 2010)

Living quality is greatly improved
Income increases in both urban and rural areas.
The increase in rural area is much lower than in urban areas.

How to improve farmers’ life is still a big challenge.
Problem: Income from agriculture is only a small amount compared to the large amount from working in urban area, i.e. building houses,…etc.
Prospect: where is the solution?

Agricultural modernisation?
Less labour input and more machinery. Difficult to enlarge the farming unit.

web-Zhang 3 web-Zhang 2
More factories in rural area to hire farmers work around.
Difficult to invest such industry by farmer themselves, i.e. often with the problems of high pollution, low working conditions.

At policy level: increasing agricultural input, especially in machinery
At social level: building up a new farm association for professional service
At technical level: improve the transition efficiency from labs of universities to farmers
More important, developing a intensified agricultural system for high yield, quality and resource efficiencies.

Continued – PDF, 45 pages.