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Grain for Green: Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability of China’s Conservation Set-Aside Program

Author

Listed:
  • Emi Uchida
  • Jintao Xu
  • Scott Rozelle

Abstract

Since 1999, China has pursued Grain for Green, an ambitious conservation set-aside program to prevent soil erosion. This paper evaluates its cost-effectiveness and sustainability. The results indicate that while the program has made a clear attempt to retire plots that are susceptible to soil erosion, there is room for better targeting. The government also may be able to generate fiscal savings if the payments more accurately reflect the differences in the opportunity costs of each plot. The study finds that some farmers may reconvert the land back to cultivation after program ends.

Suggested Citation

  • Emi Uchida & Jintao Xu & Scott Rozelle, 2005. "Grain for Green: Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability of China’s Conservation Set-Aside Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:81:y:2005:i:2:p247-264
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Just, Richard E & Antle, John M, 1990. "Interactions between Agricultural and Environmental Policies: A Conceptual Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 197-202, May.
    2. Parks, Peter J. & Schorr, James P., 1997. "Sustaining Open Space Benefits in the Northeast: An Evaluation of the Conservation Reserve Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 85-94, January.
    3. Joseph C. Cooper & C. Tim Osborn, 1998. "The Effect of Rental Rates on the Extension of Conservation Reserve Program Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 184-194.
    4. World Bank, 2001. "China : Air, Land, and Water - Environmental Priorities for a New Millennium," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14020, November.
    5. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, JunJie & Zilberman, David, 1996. "Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Rodney B.W. Smith, 1995. "The Conservation Reserve Program as a Least-Cost Land Retirement Mechanism," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-105.
    7. David Zilberman, 1996. "The Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities: A Study of CRP Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 961-971.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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