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A Socio-Economic Study of Kelang Village in Yunnan Province in relation to Uptake by Farmers of Improved Management Practices on Red Soils in China

Author

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  • Michael P. Cuddy
  • Hongmei Liu

    (Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway)

Abstract

This paper reports on the socio-economic outcome of a study of innovative, integrated, agricultural management practices in a catchment near Kelang village in Yunnan Province in south-west China. The focus of these practices, which included biological and engineering measures, was enhanced productivity in maize production and soil conservation on the Kelang uplands. Although these measures did enhance productivity and reduced soil erosion, there is strong evidence that the farmers are unlikely to implement these practices without significant support on the part of the authorities. In particular, investment measures, which have a medium to long-term payback period, will not be implemented without significant assistance from the public authorities. These outcomes follow from the fact that maize production is relatively marginal to the total integrated earning activities of the farm household, where 45% of income comes from off-farm activities, while rice, and particularly tobacco, give a much higher return per labour unit. The critical factor is the "opportunity cost" of labour. If significant off-farm employment exists at a wage above what can be earned from maize production with the new management practices, then the consequence will be that these new practices will not be embraced. The Kelang catchment area is dominated by red soils and has many of the erosion problems associated with these soils which occur extensively across southern China. However, because of their derivation from limestone, the Kelang soils are inherently more fertile. Nevertheless, the results from Kelang have implications concerning the utilization of Chinese red soils in general, particularly the likelihood of uptake by the Chinese farmer of novel and integrated management approaches on these soils based on scientific experimentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P. Cuddy & Hongmei Liu, 2003. "A Socio-Economic Study of Kelang Village in Yunnan Province in relation to Uptake by Farmers of Improved Management Practices on Red Soils in China," Working Papers 0071, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:nig:wpaper:0071
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Red soils; Integrated Management Practices; Socio-economic outcome; opportunity cost;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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