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Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in China

image of Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in China

The expansion of agricultural production in China has been remarkable, but at the expense of the sustainable use of its natural resources. To counter this, as well as to face problems due to rising labour costs and a rapidly ageing rural population, agricultural production must concentrate on a smaller number of more productive farms. It is in this light that this report reviews recent policy developments to assess whether they have been conducive to productivity growth and environmental sustainability. It finds that the conditions for structural change and innovation at the farm level in China could be further improved by securing the long-term stability of land rights as well as reducing transaction costs. Greater policy coherence with agri-environmental policy objectives could also be achieved through stricter enforcement of environmental regulations. Finally, the agricultural innovation system could play a greater role by placing the focus on public agricultural R&D in areas such as the environment and resource conservation, and in other areas which do not attract much private sector investment.

 

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Overview of the food and agriculture situation in China

This chapter describes the overall economic, social and environmental context in which the food and agriculture sector in China operates, and the natural resource base upon which it relies. It provides an overview of the general geographical and economic characteristics of China; outlines the share of the agri-food complex in the economy; identifies the main structural characteristics of the food and agriculture sector; provides an overview of the main food and agriculture outputs and markets; and analyses the main trends in agricultural productivity, competitiveness and sustainability. It finally raises a number of issues the agri-food complex is likely to face in the future.

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