How has urban growth impacted rural agriculture in china

Using spatial statistics and scenario analysis, we show that an increase in China’s urbanization level from 56% in 2015 to 80% in 2050 would actually release 5.8 million hectares of rural land for agricultural production—equivalent to 4.1% of China’s total cropland area in 2015.

Therefore, the resulting farm size is similar to the per-household availability of land in China. Urbanization increases the total cropland area and decreases the rural population (Extended Data Fig. 6), resulting in a higher per-capita cropland area of rural residents and, therefore, increased farm size.Mar 11, 2021


Does rapid urbanization change the original population distribution in rural China?

The results indicate that the migration of the population from the rural areas into the cities, which was a result of rapid urbanization, did not change the original population distribution in rural China significantly.

How much agricultural land will be released by China’s urbanization?

Using spatial statistics and scenario analysis, we show that an increase in China’s urbanization level from 56% in 2015 to 80% in 2050 would actually release 5.8 million hectares of rural land for agricultural production—equivalent to 4.1% of China’s total cropland area in 2015.

What is the impact of urbanization on agriculture?

Urbanization has increased the pressure on farmers and makes it less economic to farm in a traditional way, while it also provides opportunities for alternative, higher value agricultural enterprises to take advantage of urban market.

What are the environmental factors in rural China?

Natural environmental factors mainly include topography, climate, and water resources [19–21]; socioeconomic conditions include economic development level, industrial structure, and accessibility [20]. However, few studies have attempted to uncover changes in the spatial patterns of rural population and their influencing factors in China.

How did urbanization impact China?

The numbers increased from 172 million urbanites in 1978 to 749 million in 2014; from less than 20% of the population to over 50%. As a result of China’s major urbanization process, the country’s economy is booming now. In addition, China’s society as a whole is also becoming increasingly modernized.

How does urban development affect agriculture?

Urbanization leads to a continuous loss of agricultural land, both directly under the form of land take, and indirectly through the use of agricultural land for non-productive rural activities like recreation, horse keeping or hobby farming.

How does urbanization affect rural areas?

Some of the major health problems resulting from urbanization include poor nutrition, pollution-related health conditions and communicable diseases, poor sanitation and housing conditions, and related health conditions.

How does Urbanisation affect China’s economy?

Urban growth results from both rural-urban migration and natural increase from births in the cities exceeding deaths. Urbanisation is part of economic development which is rapidly increasing in China. This results in rising per capita incomes and demand for non-agricultural goods.

Does urbanization affect agricultural?

The process of urbanization resulted in substantial land conversion, which, in turn, led to a drastic decrease in crop production areas and changed the agricultural landscape of the Metropolitan Manila area. It also placed pressure on urban fringes, making land use conversion inevitable in cities.

What are the positive and negative effects of urban agriculture?

Urban farms and community gardens can have both positive and negative environmental impacts. They can, for example, either reduce or increase energy consumption, improve water infiltration, and beautify neighborhoods, or produce odors and contaminate water.

How urbanization is a problem for agricultural growth and food production?

With large migrations from rural to urban areas, there have been significant changes in land utilisation. Land converted to urban uses is increasing, though it has little effect on total crop production. Urbanisation and rising buying power have moved up the food chain. The demand for expensive animal products grows.

How does urbanisation affect food production?

IMPROVING DIET AND REDUCING WASTE Food waste is another consequence of urbanisation. On average, globally, 30 to 50 percent of food is not eaten, and these statistics are much higher in urban than in rural areas, and higher in more developed countries than less developed countries.

What are the consequences of rural to urban migration?

social – poor housing conditions and much higher crime rates. economic – low wages or unemployment. environmental – polluted drinking water and a lack of sanitation.

What are positive impacts of urbanisation in China?

Urbanization has lifted many out of poverty and helped to raise GDP per capita, ultimately bettering the living standards for millions of people in China. Although there are many positive results from recent urbanization, China faces a problem of unsustainability.

What is urbanisation in China?

Degree of urbanization in China Urbanization is generally defined as a process of people migrating from rural to urban areas, during which towns and cities are formed and increase in size. Even though urbanization is not exclusively a modern phenomenon, industrialization and modernization did accelerate its progress.

What were the effects of rapid industrialization and urbanization in China?

Rapid economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization in China have led to extremely severe air pollution that causes increasing negative effects on human health, visibility, and climate change.

How does mass migration affect rural development?

Mass migration has impacts on rural development in a number of ways, including the loss of labour, changes in household age and gender structure and off-farm income.

What is China’s economic transformation?

China’s economic transformation since 1978 has been remarkable, including incredibly rapid growth of China’s cities. Over the last several decades, employment opportunities generated by industrialisation and the expansion of the urban construction and service sectors, along with the gradual relaxation of controls on population movements have …

How has crop yield changed in China?

Compared with the minute changes in SOC, crop yield has changed substantially, with an increase of 30% from 2000–2015 due to the increased uptake of new farming technologies, despite the net loss in cropland area as a result of urban expansion. On a spatial scale, a high crop yield occurs in the NCP and MLYRP regions (Supplementary Fig. 14) 14, which are also preferential regions for rural reclamation due to their large rural populations. More favourable natural conditions in the plains and a moderate climate make these regions the so-called bread basket of China. Thus, even urbanization occupying fertile croplands in eastern coastal China and rural land reclamation in the NCP and MLYRP can lead to an increase in the average crop yield at a national scale. If the crop yield of each land remained at the 2015 level and the change was only influenced by the land being lost or reclaimed, the projected national average crop yield would increase by 0.5% from 2015–2030. This value would further increase to 0.9% by 2050 with an urbanization level of 80% (Extended Data Fig. 5 ). Meanwhile, the crop yield might further increase by 20–40% in 2050 (relative to 2015) because crop varieties and agricultural management practices are evolving with the increase in technological and economic development accompanying urbanization (Supplementary Table 16) 15. This effect will be much larger than the increase in agricultural production derived from changes of croplands area, which may reduce the incentive for rural build-up land reclamation. Nevertheless, it is difficult to accurately predict such a long-term change of crop yield; thus, we use the 2015 yield as a robust basis for estimating the effect of urbanization on crop production.

How will crop production increase in 2030?

Assuming the yield in 2015 could remain the same in the future, our findings indicate that total crop production would increase by 2.0% in 2030 and could further increase to 4.2% in 2050 (Fig. 3e,f ). These estimates are higher than the results derived from projections based on SOC, suggesting that urbanization could not only free lands, but might also increase crop yield through better agricultural management such as irrigation, fertilizer and labour training. These increases would mainly occur in the plains, such as the NCP and MLYRP, similar to the increase in SOC-predicted crop production, suggesting that, in both cases, changes in cropland area dominate future changes in crop production with urbanization (with changes in crop yield further contributing to the increase).

What will happen to the cropland area in 2050?

Furthermore, should urbanization continue to 80% by 2050, the total cropland area would increase by 4.1% and the rural population would decrease by 61.5%, leading to a twofold increase in the rural residents’ per-capita cropland area.

How does urbanization affect food security?

Urbanization has often been considered a threat to food security since it is likely to reduce the availability of croplands. Using spatial statistics and scenario analysis, we show that an increase in China’s urbanization level from 56% in 2015 to 80% in 2050 would actually release 5.8 million hectares of rural land for agricultural production—equivalent to 4.1% of China’s total cropland area in 2015. Even considering the relatively lower land fertility of these new croplands, crop production in 2050 would still be 3.1–4.2% higher than in 2015. In addition, cropland fragmentation could be reduced with rural land release and a decrease in rural population, benefiting large-scale farming and environmental protection. To ensure this, it is necessary to adopt an integrated urban–rural development model, with reclamation of lands previously used as residential lots. These insights into the urbanization and food security debate have important policy implications for global regions undergoing rapid urbanization.

How much more will cropland be produced in 2050?

Even considering the relatively lower land fertility of these new croplands, crop production in 2050 would still be 3.1–4.2% higher than in 2015. In addition, cropland fragmentation could be reduced with rural land release and a decrease in rural population, benefiting large-scale farming and environmental protection.

What would happen if urbanization reached 70%?

With urbanization, more rural land occupied for residential use can be released than urban land can be used for expansion. For example, if the urbanization level were to reach 70% by 2030, rural land occupation would decrease by 3.8 Mha while urban land occupation would only increase by 1.7 Mha (Fig. 1 ).

Where are croplands located in China?

From 2015 to 2030, new released croplands are concentrated in the NCP, Middle and Lower Yangtze River Basin, and Northeast Plain, while the intensive areas of urban expansion are the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta. Base map is applied without endorsement from GADM data ( ).

What is Beijing’s role in urban agriculture?

Recognising the importance of urban agriculture to sustainable urban development in the late 1990s, Beijing’s municipal government launched an official programme encouraging multi-function urban agriculture in peri-urban areas by supporting the development of “agro-parks”, which not only produce food but also attract tourism and are used as educational tools.

What makes China’s cities more liveable?

Urban agriculture makes China’s cities more liveable. Beijing is leading the way in using smart-city technologies to make urban farming more viable. en.

How does urbanization affect agriculture?

The process of urbanization will cause a certain degree of damage to UA in the process of continuous advancement, so that agriculture can only survive in remote areas ( Li Xiaofei, 2015 ). It is believed that the development of urbanization has forced cities to occupy a lot of agricultural lands and will affect the development of UA. Rapid urbanization has put tremendous pressure on densely populated farmland in the surrounding areas (Pribadi D O, Pauleit S, 2015).

What is urban agriculture?

It is a new agricultural model that relies on cities and serves for cities.

How does urbanization affect the development of cities?

Urbanization has promoted industrialization and improved farmers’ production and living conditions. The development of industrialization and mechanization has saved a lot of labor, at the same time improved the level of urban agricultural production technology. In addition, with the improvement of infrastructure such as high-speed rail and highways, trade and tourism between cities become more frequent. For example, tourism will drive the development of various industries of UA in the cities, including leisure agriculture, folk culture, handcrafts, and the trading of products with local characteristics, which are closely related to the local UA. It can not only promote the level of UA in cities, but also bring the culture and products with UA characteristics to different cities for further exchange and development.

How does UA affect China?

The convenient transportation and UA of surrounding cities will also affect UA in local region. When formulating policies to promote the development of UA, the local governments need not only to pay attention to the economic conditions and environment of the local city, but also need to consider the development strategies of the surrounding regions. Try to reduce the negative impact of surrounding cities and the outflow of local agricultural labor, and absorb the agricultural production resources and elements from other areas. By building regional collaboration platforms and utilizing the resources of the surrounding areas effectively, local governments can strengthen agricultural technology exchanges and cooperation, and promote revenue of agricultural workers.

How to optimize land output?

To optimize the land output and improve agricultural efficiency, appropriate amounts of mechanical power and chemical fertilizers are often chosen. Contemporary economic theory shows that in the actual production process, agricultural machinery and fertilizers are important inputs, which have an important effect on agriculture production ( Jorgenson A K, Kuykendall K A,2008; Carvalho F P,2006 ). Therefore, this study considers controlling both the total power of machinery per capita and the amount of fertilizer used per capita.

What is the impact of cultivated land on agriculture?

For example, many cities have changed traditional food crops into higher-value crops such as fruits or flowers. Therefore, the area of cultivated land still has a great influence on the added value of agriculture to a certain extent. This study controls per capita cultivated area in cities.

How does urban infrastructure affect the development of UA?

The difference in urban infrastructure will cause the efficiency of resource allocation , which will have a certain degree of impact on the development of UA. In other words, the high-quality development of UA is inseparable from the improvement and development of urban infrastructure. However, infrastructure includes transportation, post and telecommunications, water and electricity, business services, and more. Among them, most factors only affect the public life of urban residents and it is difficult to measure. On the whole, the agricultural fixed asset investment within the cities can reflect infrastructure construction to some extent. The impact of investment on UA has also been confirmed by Srivastava (1986). Fixed asset investment increases agricultural production efficiency while increasing infrastructure and agricultural production conditions ( Antle et al., 1983; Podrecca et al., 2001 ), thereby affecting farmers’ income. In this study, we selected the per capita fixed-asset investment index as the control variable.

What is the gap between urban and rural areas in China?

For a long time, priority has been given to urban development at the expense of agriculture and the rural economy, so widening the gap between urban and rural areas in China. The way rapid urbanization has brought threats to the surrounding environment, and the consequent changes have implications for both rural and urban livelihoods and well-being.

What are the challenges of urbanization in China?

Urbanization in China will also bring many challenges for sustainable rural development, such as labor shortage, arable land loss and increase in uncultivated land, arable land pollution, and neglected farmers’ rights ( Larson et al., 2001, Satterthwaite et al., 2010 ).

How does urbanization affect health?

Social and economic changes with urbanization raise risk factors for chronic diseases. The urban population is experiencing a dietary transition towards western-style diets higher in calories and low in nutrition ( Tilman and Clark, 2014 ). City life is more sedentary than rural life in China. Occupational physical activity is less in urban than in rural areas, and automobile use is more common in urban regions. High-calorie foods and lack of physical activities are major risk factors for overweight or obesity. Besides, fast-paced life and crowding environment in cities increase psychological stress of residents which can result in hypertension ( Ibrahim and Damasceno, 2012 ).

What are the major grain producing areas in China?

Except for Xinjiang and Heilongjiang, the arable land in all the grain producing areas declined from 1996 to 2008. Huang-Huai-Hai Plain and Yangtze River Basin Plain , where the biggest grain producing provinces located, account for 46.39% of the total grain production. The arable land reduction in these grain producing areas is about 5.24%, where urbanization development would be an important reason ( Fig. 6 ). These provinces are more developed and have the most intensive development areas and urban clusters. Arable land loss, water shortage, and rapid urbanization all place agriculture in a grim situation with continuing potential threats.

How much land is there in China?

Official figures show that the total extent of China’s farmland has been steadily decreasing since the late 1950s ( Smil, 1999 ). By the end of 2016,there were 645.2 million hectares of agricultural land, with arable land accounts for 20.9% (134.96 million hectares). Even after the 120 million hectares arable land redline was proposed by the Chinese Central Government in 2013, arable land still declined from 135.16 million hectares in 2013 to 134.96 million in 2016 ( Ministry of Land and Resources of China, 2016 ).

What is the ecological footprint of China?

The “ecological footprint” (EF) can reveal the relationship between resources consumption and ecological carrying capacity. The Chinese Ecological Footprint Report revealed a linear relationship between EF per capita and level of urbanization from 1970 to 2008 ( WWF, 2013 ). Effect of urbanization on EF was mainly due to urban growth and a change of consumption mode. The report also identified that 80% cities in China had an ecological deficit, while only 6 provinces, including Tibet, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Hainan, were at the stage of ecological surplus. Fang and Lin (2009) also demonstrated a positive correlation between urbanization and EF, and a negative relationship between urbanization and EF intensity (EF per GDP). The carbon footprint is a critical component of the calculation of EF, which is largely due to energy consumption. From 2000 to 2016, energy consumption increased from 1.47 to 4.36 billion tons of standard coal, which showed a linear relationship with the level of urbanization ( Fig. 4) (NBSC 2017). Concurrently, urbanization slowed the rate of growth of energy consumption per capita ( Wang, 2014 ).

How has public health improved in China?

Public health in China has improved since 1990, with a general decrease in the prevalence of infectious diseases ( Fig. 7 ). The yearly mortality from infectious diseases rapidly declined from 1990 to 2016, decreasing from 20.47 cases to 6.46 cases per 100,000 population in urban area and from 35.08 cases to 7.76 cases per 100,000 population in rural area. In general, mortality caused by infectious diseases was higher in rural area than in urban area, the difference was much bigger before 2005, and it has become smaller since 2010.

How has urbanization accelerated in China?

The development of urbanization in China has accelerated since the implementation of the reform and opening-up. The urbanization rate has increased from 17.92% in 1978 to 59.58% in 2018 [1]. Along with the rapid urbanization process, large-scale rural-urban migration leads to the rapid decline in rural population [2–5]. The rural population in China decreased from 790 million in 1978 to 564 million in 2018 [1]. However, other geographical elements of rural areas, such as land, cannot quickly adapt to this change in rural population due to policies, institution and other reasons [6, 7]. The dislocation of demographic and other geographical elements has produced a series of rural problems, such as hollowing villages [8–10], farmland abandonment [11–14], and rural decline [2, 15]. The mass rural-urban migration and rapid urban growth of China have also caused the unprecedented loss of arable land [16]. Under the strategic background of rural revitalization, rural areas has been endowed with new development opportunities, which means that rural resource allocation should correspond to the distribution pattern of rural population. The rational distribution of infrastructure, public services and the development of rural industries is inseparable from the trends in the rural population distribution. Therefore, based on the reality of the large-scale reduction in rural population, analysis of the changes in the distribution patterns of the rural population and the influencing factors helps to improve the understanding of the trends in rural population distribution, which are significant for the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy and sustainability in rural areas.

What is rural population?

The rural population refers to the permanent resident population in the countryside, excluding the population living in the city and town. So the rural population is relative to the urban population. In this paper, the county-level rural population data comes from the population census of the People’s Republic of China in 1990, 2000 and 2010. Specifically, the number of a county’s rural population corresponds to the “rural population” field in the census data.

What is the ringed structure in the rural population?

In the southeastern half of Hu’s line, there is a ringed structure in the rural population that contains a high-density area, a moderate-density area, and a low-density area–area above the national average.

Where is the highest population density in China?

In terms of the rural population density, the areas with highest rural population density were mainly distributed in the plains, basins and deltas in Southeast China that have superior terrain conditions (Fig 2). The North China Plain, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the Sichuan Basin were the rural population centers. The population density of the low-lying or near-water areas, such as the North China Plain, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Sichuan Basin, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta in the eastern region, had more than 200 persons/km2, which is a high density for rural population. The population density of the rural areas in the northwestern region is less than 100 persons/km2, which is sparse for rural population.

Which population tends to be distributed around cities?

The rural population tends to be distributed around cities

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