25 January 2015 | Online since 2003



14 March 2014|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News

Hybrid agricultural model to support China’s food demand


A quadrupling in the world’s population in the past 100 years has required a fundamental change in soil and crop management to meet growing food demand globally. In China, the issue of food security is driving the development of a hybrid model and changing the way in which the region will feed itself in the long-term.

China’s food security will ultimately rely on the professionalisation of its agricultural system through the infrastructure of research, education, and farm extension services, supplemented with the import of lower value feed grains from the US and Brazil as China continues to buy and build a global supply chain.

“Output efficiency of domestic crops in China have been significantly hindered in previous years”, states Rabobank analyst, Dirk Jan Kennes. “China’s farming industry is characterised by an unsustainably high level of nitrogen fertiliser (N-fertiliser) usage, and inefficiently low crop uptake of fertiliser nutrients (N-uptake). Its low agricultural production efficiency is also due to lower average arable land area per farm (restricting machinery usage) and relatively low-level farmer knowledge”.

China’s agricultural production is set to see a number of effective improvements under Government land reform policies. Farmers will have the opportunity to transfer collective land to large-scale, professional farms. In turn, this ‘professionalisation’ will encourage more operational economies of scale. For example, the development of family farms focussing on agricultural activities with greater economic value like intensive food-grain production in rotation with high added-value crops like potatoes, onions, and livestock farming.

In conjunction with this, governments, institutions, firms and farmers in China have been actively exploring ways to use fertiliser effectively, and some best practice standards have already been formulated. However, China’s fertiliser application rate is still accelerating and the current low levels of N-uptake means it is absorbed into the environment causing soil and water acidification, contamination of surface and groundwater resources, and rising greenhouse gas emissions. Imports of low-value grain from markets with better N-uptake and lower fertiliser input can supplement China’s domestic supply.

Feed grain imports can significantly improve the efficiency of the pork value chain, for example. The input of N-fertiliser per unit of pork production in China is 3.5 times greater than in the US. Importing the Dutch agricultural model of technology-intensive livestock farming as well as the N-fertiliser-to-corn efficiency from the Americas can significantly narrow the fertiliser to production output gap in China; and by doing so, China could also save more than 174,000 tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser inputs, 11 million tonnes of corn and nearly 1.75 million hectares of land greatly limiting environmental damage.

“China’s interest in acquiring and developing agricultural know-how as well as its initiative to buy-and-build a leading global agricultural trading house supports its agricultural development and is allowing it to make the best of both worlds”, states Kennes.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


6 January 2015
HGV Driver/Operators and Driver’s Mates
You will work as part of a two person team on our rigid & drawbar vehicles throughout the UK, working on sites ranging fr...

6 January 2015
Faculty Scholarships
Agriculture, Food and Veterinary. The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) has been awarded seven Faculty Scholarships for Octo...

24 January 2015
Retail Assistant
Woodwards Farm began trading 6 years ago when Kerrie and Will returned back to the family farm to retail their home produced ...

12 January 2015
Family Intervention Assistant
Sunnyside Academy Manor Farm Way Coulby Newham Middlesbrough TS8 0RJ Head Teacher: Mr A Dunn Salary: £13,712 - £14,254 actual...

5 January 2015
ASP.NET Programmer / Web Developer
For further details on the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development please visit the web page at:....




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...