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The Sustainability of Cotton Production in China and in Australia: Comparative Economic and Environmental Issues

Author

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  • Zhao, Xufu
  • Tisdell, Clement A.

Abstract

After providing some background about the importance of cotton as a fibre, this article provides information about the global relevance of China’s and Australia’s cotton industries and compares the structure and other significant features of their cotton industries. Attention is given to trends in overall cotton yields and the volume of production of cotton globally, in Australia, and in China as indicators of the sustainability of cotton supplies. Some simple economic theory is applied to indicate the relationship between market conditions and the sustainability of global cotton supplies. Then the environmental and economic factors that challenge the sustainability of Australian cotton production are outlined and analysed and this is done subsequently for China’s cotton production. Geographical and regional features that affect the sustainability of cotton supplies in Australia and China are given particular attention. Some new economic theory is proposed to model hysteresis in Australia’s supplies of cotton. Ways of coping with the sustainability difficulties that are being encountered by both these nations are compared. Many of the sustainability challenges facing these two countries are found to differ but some of their environmental obstacles to sustainable cotton production are similar.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhao, Xufu & Tisdell, Clement A., 2009. "The Sustainability of Cotton Production in China and in Australia: Comparative Economic and Environmental Issues," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55338, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:55338
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.55338
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tisdell, Clement A., 2006. "Poverty, Political Failure and the Use of Open Access Resources in Developing Countries," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55094, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, He & Li, Duansheng & Zhou, Zhiguo & Zahoor, Rizwan & Chen, Binglin & Meng, Yali, 2017. "Soil water and salt affect cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) photosynthesis, yield and fiber quality in coastal saline soil," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 112-121.
    2. Aihemaitijiang Rouzi & Ümüt Halik & Niels Thevs & Martin Welp & Tayierjiang Aishan, 2017. "Water Efficient Alternative Crops for Sustainable Agriculture along the Tarim Basin: A Comparison of the Economic Potentials of Apocynum pictum , Chinese Red Date and Cotton in Xinjiang, China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, December.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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