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Explaining and understanding environmental actions in Chinese agriculture: the case of Yuqiao watershed of Tianjin municipality

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.1, 2017

 

Explaining and understanding environmental actions in Chinese agriculture: the case of Yuqiao watershed of Tianjin municipality

(Abstract)

 

Geir Inge Orderud, Rolf D. Vogt, Tom Andersen and Jing Luo

 

Most of China’s surface waters are undergoing anthropogenic eutrophication, mainly due to leaching of phosphorus (P) from both sewage and agriculture. This is causing quality deterioration in their scarce water resources. The problem has been acknowledged by Chinese authorities and actions sought implemented, though expected ameliorations are on hold. The study focuses on actions taken by farmers adjacent to Yuqiao reservoir. As is often the case, these farmers apply excessive amounts of fertilisers. The leaching of P is aggravated by poor P sorption capacity of the soils and a practically impermeable clay layer below a shallow ploughing layer. During heavy rainfalls the soils become saturated, causing P to be flushed out through shallow-water flow paths. A low content of organic matter in the soils makes things worse. This study documents how farmers are taking action to improve crop yield, the environment, and health issues. Farmers taking more action than others consider themselves as having good farming competence. The study concludes with suggested policy measures.