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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2004 Vol.5 No.12 P.1533~1542

http://doi.org/10.1631/jzus.2004.1533


Land degradation, government subsidy, and smallholders' conservation decision: the case of the loess plateau in China


Author(s):  SHI Min-jun, CHEN Kevin

Affiliation(s):  College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; more

Corresponding email(s):   mjshi@gscas.ac.cn, mjshi@sakura.cc.tsukuba.ac.jp, kevin.chen@ualberta.ca

Key Words:  Land degradation, Soil conservation program, Land conversion, Subsidy, Bioeconomic household model, Loess plateau


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SHI Min-jun, CHEN Kevin. Land degradation, government subsidy, and smallholders' conservation decision: the case of the loess plateau in China[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2004, 5(12): 1533~1542.

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Abstract: 
land degradation is one of the severe environmental problems in China. In order to combat land degradation, a soil conservation program was introduced since 2000 to reduce soil erosion by converting slope-cultivated land into forestry and pasture. This paper represents the first systematic attempt to investigate the impact of the soil conservation program on land degradation in the loess plateau. The results indicate that the soil conservation program to convert slope fields into forest or pasture is an effective way to combat soil erosion. However, a subsidy that is higher than profit of land use activity of slope fields before their conversion into forest and pasture is needed to encourage farmers to join the conservation program. A policy measure to encourage and assist farmers to develop sedentary livestock by using crops produced from fields as well as fodder and forage grass from the converted slope fields might contribute to combat soil erosion. Increase in off-farm job opportunities may encourage households to reduce cultivation in slope fields. That implies a policy measure to encourage rural urbanization might contribute to combat soil erosion.

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