A methodology to explore options for rice-based farming systems in a humid subtropical region: a case study for Jiangxi, China

J. Zhong, H. Hengsdijk, H. van Keulen, Q. Shi, X. Zhao

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Jiangxi Province, a typical humid subtropical region, is one of the major rice producing areas in China, with more than 85% of its arable area under rice-based cropping systems. Major problems and developments in current systems include: (1) low economic returns of rice production, (2) small farm sizes, (3) decreasing agricultural area due to urbanization, (4) high inputs of labor, fertilizers and biocides, (5) the use of large quantities of irrigation water in the production of late season rice, (6) declining agricultural labor force, (7) increasing demand for a more luxurious and diversified diet which meets food safety standards. Current rice-based farming systems need to change to be able to deal with these problems and to respond to new developments. This paper describes a generic methodology to explore options for rice-based farming systems taking into account various possibly conflicting goals of stakeholders in rural land use of Jiangxi. It consists of four major parts: (1) identification of objectives, (2) quantification of input-output combinations for production activities, (3) an interactive multiple goal linear programming model, and (4) analysis of results. Key to this approach is the quantification of input-output combinations of alternative production activities, which are categorized into three types: (1) rice-based crop rotations, (2) mixed crop-animal systems, and (3) rice-duck coexisting system. The described method can be used in other land use studies exploring options at farming systems level.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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