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Changes in and prospects for cultivated land use since the reform and opening up in China

Zhaohao Lai, Meiqiu Chen and Taoju Liu

Land Use Policy, 2020, vol. 97, issue C

Abstract: Cultivated land provides the basic guarantee for food production and security, and changes in its utilization have been a focus of attention in China. Since China’s “reform and opening up,” major changes have taken place in the country’s social economy and cultivated land use. Based on statistical data analysis and literature review, this study systematically reviewed long-term changes in cultivated land use in China. On that basis, future trends are identified, which can provide new insights for future research on cultivated land use and protection management. The findings indicate that while cultivated land use is diversified, smallholder farmers still account for the main part. Further, the scale of cultivation is expanding but still fragmented, profits derived from land cultivation are slowly growing, and the proportion of those profits in total household income has dramatically declined. It was also found that the social security function of cultivated land has been weakened, cultivated land management has become more diversified, and grain output has risen steadily. To meet the needs of social and economic development, the government should promote the transfer of the “household” as a unit instead of “labor.” Moreover, innovation in the land use system should be stimulated based on industrial convergence, and policy incentives for ecological farming should be increased.

Keywords: Cultivated land; Change; Main body; Management pattern; Social function; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:lauspo:v:97:y:2020:i:c:s0264837720300156

DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104781

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