Strategies for sustainable nutrient management:insights from a mixed natural and social science analysis of Chinese crop production systems

Bellarby, J. and Siciliano, G. and Smith, L.E.D. and Xin, L. and Zhou, J. and Liu, K. and Jie, L. and Meng, F. and Inman, A. and Rahn, C. and Surridge, B. and Haygarth, P.M. (2017) Strategies for sustainable nutrient management:insights from a mixed natural and social science analysis of Chinese crop production systems. Environmental Development, 21. pp. 52-65. ISSN 2211-4645

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In China intensification of agriculture has been achieved at a cost to the environment. The extension service is the leading public resource to address this but remains focused by a historic national ethos for food security, production and economic growth, whilst its administrative structure is hierarchical, slow to change and lacking in relevant functional integration. Investigation of three case study farming systems identifies how to rebalance productivity with stewardship of farm inputs and natural resources. Substance flow analyses for each case demonstrate that crop nutrient management can potentially be improved to reduce environmental risk without yield loss. Complementary stakeholder surveys and social network analyses identify barriers to change relating to the knowledge, attitudes, practices and operational constraints of farmers and extension agents, and to the structure and performance of agricultural knowledge and innovation systems. This combination of analyses offers an original synthesis of needs, planning priorities and strategies.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Development
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environmental Development. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environmental Development, 21, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.envdev.2016.10.008
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09 Feb 2018 11:46
Last Modified:
06 Oct 2023 00:31