Advertisement

Assessing the impacts of the changes in farming systems on food security and environmental sustainability of a Chinese rural region under different policy scenarios: an agent-based model

  • Chengcheng Yuan
  • Liming LiuEmail author
  • Xiaoxing Qi
  • Yonghu Fu
  • Jinwei Ye
Article

Abstract

Since China has undergone a series of economic reforms and implemented opening up policies, its farming systems have significantly changed and have dramatically influenced the society, economy, and environment of China. To assess the comprehensive impacts of these changes on food security and environmental sustainability, and establish effective and environment-friendly subsidy policies, this research constructed an agent-based model (ABM). Daligang Town, which is located in the two-season rice region of Southern China, was selected as the case study site. Four different policy scenarios, i.e., “sharply increasing” (SI), “no-increase” (NI), “adjusted-method” (AM), and “trend” (TD) scenarios were investigated from 2015 to 2029. The validation result shows that the relative prediction errors between the simulated and actual values annually ranged from −20 to 20%, indicating the reliability of the proposed model. The scenario analysis revealed that the four scenarios generated different variations in cropping systems, rice yield, and fertilizer and pesticide inputs when the purchase price of rice and the non-agricultural income were assumed to increase annually by 0.1 RMB per kg and 10% per person, respectively. Among the four different policy scenarios in Daligang, the TD scenario was considered the best, because it had a relatively high rice yield, fairly minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides, and a lower level of subsidy. Despite its limitations, ABM could be considered a useful tool in analyzing, exploring, and discussing the comprehensive effects of the changes in farming system on food security and environmental sustainability.

Keywords

ABM Environmental sustainability Farming systems Food security Southern China 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the funding support from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (41130526).

References

  1. Alexandratos, N., Bruinsma, J. (2012). World Agriculture towards 2030/2050. Rome.Google Scholar
  2. Brady, M., Sahrbacher, C., Kellermann, K., & Happe, K. (2012). An agent-based approach to modeling impacts of agricultural policy on land use, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Landscape Ecology, 27(9), 1363–1381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen, F., Ma, Z., & Chen, P. (2011). Selecting status of farmers’ rice cropping patterns and its impact factor analysis: four provinces survey along the Yangtze River. Agricultural Economics and Management, 3, 62–69.Google Scholar
  4. China. (2011). Technical specifications for testing soil for formulated fertilization. Beijing: Ministry of Agriculture of China.Google Scholar
  5. Daloglu, I., Nassauer, J. I., Riolo, R. L., & Scavia, D. (2014). Development of a farmer typology of agricultural conservation behavior in the American Corn Belt. Agricultural Systems, 129, 93–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deng, X. Z., Huang, J. K., Rozelle, S., Zhang, J. P., & Li, Z. H. (2015). Impact of urbanization on cultivated land changes in China. Land Use Policy, 45, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ding, C. R. (2003). Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects. Land Use Policy, 20(2), 109–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dong, X. Y. (1996). Two-tier land tenure system and sustained economic growth in post-1978 rural China. World Development, 24(5), 915–928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Filatova, T., Voinov, A., & Van der Veen, A. (2011). Land market mechanisms for preservation of space for coastal ecosystems: an agent-based analysis. Environmental Modelling & Software, 26(2), 179–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Franck, C., Grandi, S. M., & Eisenberg, M. J. (2013). Agricultural subsidies and the American obesity epidemic. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(3), 327–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haase, D., Haase, A., Kabisch, N., Kabisch, S., & Rink, D. (2012). Actors and factors in land-use simulation: the challenge of urban shrinkage. Environmental Modelling & Software, 35, 92–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hao, H., Li, X., Tian, Y., et al. (2010). Farmland use right transfer and its driving factors in agro-pastoral interlaced region. Transactions of the CSAE, 26(8), 302–307.Google Scholar
  13. Happe, K., Hutchings, N. J., Dalgaard, T., & Kellerman, K. (2011). Modelling the interactions between regional farming structure, nitrogen losses and environmental regulation. Agricultural Systems, 104(3), 281–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heerink, N., Kuiper, M., & Shi, X. P. (2006). China’s new rural income support policy: Impacts on grain production and rural income inequality. China & World Economy, 14(6), 58–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hong, M., & Guang, H. (2012). Analysis on influence factors of farmers’ land transfer behaviors. On Economic Problems, 8, 72–77.Google Scholar
  16. Hou, L., Sun, Q., & Mu, Y. (2012). Impact of agricultural subsidy policy on agricultural non-point pollution: from the persepective of fertilizer demand. Journal of China Agricultural Univeristy, 17(4), 172–177.Google Scholar
  17. Hu, W. (1997). Household land tenure reform in China: Its impact on farming land use and agro-environment. Land Use Policy, 14(3), 175–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang, J. K., Wang, X. B., Zhi, H. Y., Huang, Z. R., & Rozelle, S. (2011). Subsidies and distortions in China’s agriculture: evidence from producer-level data. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 55(1), 53–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huang, W. (2007). The impacts of abolishing agriculture taxes. Public Finance Research (5), 31–34.Google Scholar
  20. Ju, X. T., Xing, G. X., Chen, X. P., Zhang, S. L., Zhang, L. J., Liu, X. J., et al. (2009). Reducing environmental risk by improving N management in intensive Chinese agricultural systems (vol 106, pg 3041, 2009). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(19).Google Scholar
  21. Keister, L. A., & Nee, V. G. (2001). The rational peasant in China—flexible adaptation, risk diversification and opportunity. Rationality and Society, 13(1), 33–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kobrich, C., Rehman, T., & Khan, M. (2003). Typification of farming systems for constructing representative farm models: two illustrations of the application of multi-variate analyses in Chile and Pakistan. Agricultural Systems, 76(1), 141–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li, Y. X., Zhang, W. F., Ma, L., Huang, G. Q., Oenema, O., Zhang, F. S., et al. (2013). An analysis of China’s fertilizer policies: impacts on the industry, food security, and the environment. Journal of Environmental Quality, 42(4), 972–981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Malanson, G. P., & Walsh, S. J. (2015). Agent-based models: individuals interacting in space. Applied Geography, 56, 95–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Matthews, R. B., & Bakam, I. (2007). A combined agent-based and biophysical modelling approach to address GHG mitigation policy issues. Modsim 2007: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, 4–10.Google Scholar
  26. Messina, J. P., Evans, T. P., Manson, S. M., & Shortridge, A. M. (2008). Complex systems models and the management of error and uncertainty. Journal of Land Use Science, 3(1), 11–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mialhe, F., Becu, N., & Gunnell, Y. (2012). An agent-based model for analyzing land use dynamics in response to farmer behaviour and environmental change in the Pampanga delta (Philippines). Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 161, 55–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Morgan, F. J., & Daigneault, A. J. (2015). Estimating impacts of climate change policy on land use: an agent-based modelling approach. Plos One, 10(5).Google Scholar
  29. Murray-Rust, D., Robinson, D. T., Guillem, E., Karali, E., & Rounsevell, M. (2014). An open framework for agent based modelling of agricultural land use change. Environmental Modelling & Software, 61, 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Newell, A., Pandya, K., & Symons, J. (1997). Farm size and the intensity of land use in Gujarat. Oxford Economic Papers-New Series, 49(2), 307–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Norse, D., & Ju, X. T. (2015). Environmental costs of China’s food security. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 209, 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pan, Y., Yu, Z. R., Holst, J., & Doluschitz, R. (2014). Integrated assessment of cropping patterns under different policy scenarios in Quzhou County, North China Plain. Land Use Policy, 40, 131–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Parker, D. C., Manson, S. M., Janssen, M. A., Hoffmann, M. J., & Deadman, P. (2003). Multi-agent systems for the simulation of land-use and land-cover change: a review. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93(2), 314–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Piorr, A., Ungaro, F., Ciancaglini, A., Happe, K., Sahrbacher, A., Sattler, C., et al. (2009). Integrated assessment of future CAP policies: land use changes, spatial patterns and targeting. Environmental Science & Policy, 12(8), 1122–1136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Popkin, S. (1980). The rational peasant—the political-economy of peasant society. Theory and Society, 9(3), 411–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Qi, X. (2015). Study on sustainable agricultural land use patterns under the premise of ensuring food security with lower environmental cost. Beijing: China Agricultural University.Google Scholar
  37. Qin, D., Luo, Y. P., & Huang, Z. (2012). Pollution status and source analysis of water environment in Dongting Lake. Environmental Science & Technology, 35(8), 193–198.Google Scholar
  38. Radel, C., Schmook, B., & Chowdhury, R. R. (2010). Agricultural livelihood transition in the southern Yucatán region: diverging paths and their accompanying land changes. Regional Environmental Change, 10(3), 205–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Randa, J., Lahtinen, J., Camps, A., Gasiewski, A. J., Hallikainen, M., Le Vine, D. M., Martin-Neira, M., Piepmeier, J., Rosenkranz, P. W., Ruf, C. S., Shiue, J., Skou, N. (2008). Recommended terminology for microwave radiometry. Technical Note (pp. 1551).Google Scholar
  40. Rao, V., & Chotigeat, T. (1981). The inverse relationship between size of land holdings and agricultural productivity. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 63(3), 571–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rasch, S., Heckelei, T., Oomen, R., & Naumann, C. (2016). Cooperation and collapse in a communal livestock production SES model—a case from South Africa. Environmental Modelling & Software, 75, 402–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reeves, H. W., & Zellner, M. L. (2010). Linking MODFLOW with an agent-based land-use model to support decision making. Ground Water, 48(5), 649–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ren, W., Dai, C., & Guo, H. (2015). Estimation of pollution load from non-point source in Baoxianghe watershed based, Yunnan Province on improved export coefficient model. China Environmental Science, 35(8), 2400–2408.Google Scholar
  44. Repetto, R. (1987). Economic incentives for sustainable production. Annals of Regional Science, 21(3), 44–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schouten, M., Opdam, P., Polman, N., & Westerhof, E. (2013). Resilience-based governance in rural landscapes: experiments with agri-environment schemes using a spatially explicit agent-based model. Land Use Policy, 30(1), 934–943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schreinemachers, P., & Berger, T. (2006). Land use decisions in developing countries and their representation in multi-agent systems. Journal of Land Use Science, 1(1), 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schultz, T. W. (1964). Transforming traditional agriculture. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Shih, Y. T., Lee, T. Y., Huang, J. C., Kao, S. J., & Chang, F. J. (2016). Apportioning riverine DIN load to export coefficients of land uses in an urbanized watershed. Science of the Total Environment, 560, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Siciliano, G. (2012). Urbanization strategies, rural development and land use changes in China: a multiple-level integrated assessment. Land Use Policy, 29(1), 165–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sun, B., Zhang, L. X., Yang, L. Z., Zhang, F. S., Norse, D., & Zhu, Z. L. (2012). Agricultural non-point source pollution in China: causes and mitigation measures. Ambio, 41(4), 370–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tan, M. H., Guy, M. R., & Li, X. B. (2011). Urban spatial development and land use in Beijing: implications from London’s experiences. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 21(1), 49–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tian, Q., Holland, J. H., & Brown, D. G. (2016). Social and economic impacts of subsidy policies on rural development in the Poyang Lake Region, China: insights from an agent-based model. Agricultural Systems, 148, 12–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. TJST. (2014). Taojiang statistical yearbook 1997–2014. Taojiang: Taojiang Statistics Press.Google Scholar
  54. Valbuena, D., Verburg, P. H., & Bregt, A. K. (2008). A method to define a typology for agent-based analysis in regional land-use research. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 128(1–2), 27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Valbuena, D., Verburg, P. H., Bregt, A. K., & Ligtenberg, A. (2009). An agent-based approach to model land-use change at a regional scale. Landscape Ecology, 25(2), 185–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Valbuena, D., Verburg, P. H., Veldkamp, A., Bregt, A. K., & Ligtenberg, A. (2010). Effects of farmers’ decisions on the landscape structure of a Dutch rural region: An agent-based approach. Landscape and Urban Planning, 97(2), 98–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Vitousek, P. M., Naylor, R., Crews, T., David, M. B., Drinkwater, L. E., Holland, E., et al. (2009). Nutrient imbalances in agricultural development. Science, 324(5934), 1519–1520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wilensky, U. (1999). Netlogo.http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University, Evanston.
  59. Wu, W. B., Verburg, P. H., & Tang, H. J. (2014). Climate change and the food production system: impacts and adaptation in China. Regional Environmental Change, 14(1), 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Xi, F. M., He, H. S., Clarke, K. C., Hu, Y. M., Wu, X. Q., Liu, M., et al. (2012). The potential impacts of sprawl on farmland in Northeast China—evaluating a new strategy for rural development. Landscape and Urban Planning, 104(1), 34–46.Google Scholar
  61. Xie, H. L., Wang, P., & Yao, G. R. (2014). Exploring the dynamic mechanisms of farmland abandonment based on a spatially explicit economic model for environmental sustainability: a case study in Jiangxi Province, China. Sustainability, 6(3), 1260–1282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Xin, L., Li, X., & Zhu, H. (2009). Validation of the inverse farm size-productivity relationship and its explanations : a case study of Jilin Province. Geographical Research, 28(5), 1276–1284.Google Scholar
  63. Xu, H., & Chen, T. (2013). Impact of farmers’ differentiation on farmland-use efficiency: Evidence from household survey data in rural China. Agricultural Economics-Zemedelska Ekonomika, 59(5), 227–234.Google Scholar
  64. Yan, X. H., Bauer, S., & Huo, X. X. (2014). Farm size, land reallocation, and labour migration in rural China. Population Space and Place, 20(4), 303–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ye, J. Z. (2015). Land transfer and the pursuit of agricultural modernization in China. Journal of Agrarian Change, 15(3), 314–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Yu, Q. Y., Wu, W. B., Verburg, P. H., Van Vliet, J., Yang, P., Zhou, Q. B., et al. (2013). A survey-based exploration of land-system dynamics in an agricultural region of Northeast China. Agricultural Systems, 121, 106–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yu, Q. Y., Wu, W. B., Yang, P., & Tang, H. J. (2012). Global change component or human dimension adaptation? An agent-based framework for understanding the complexity and dynamics of agricultural land systems. 18th Biennial Isem Conference on Ecological Modelling for Global Change and Coupled Human and Natural System, 13, 1395–1404.Google Scholar
  68. Yuan, S. F., Li, F., & Wang, X. C. (2014). Study on households’ willingness in farmland transfer: a case of Tengtou Village, Fenghua in Zhejiang Province, China. Environmental Technology and Resource Utilization II, 675-677, 1238–1241.Google Scholar
  69. Zhong, T. Y., Huang, X. J., Zhang, X. Y., & Wang, K. (2011). Temporal and spatial variability of agricultural land loss in relation to policy and accessibility in a low hilly region of southeast China. Land Use Policy, 28(4), 762–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zhuo, D., Liu, L., Kuang, Q., & Qi, X. (2014). Methods for environmental risk analysis and assessment of agro-land use systems. Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment, 30, 526–532.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chengcheng Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liming Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiaoxing Qi
    • 3
  • Yonghu Fu
    • 1
  • Jinwei Ye
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Land Resources ManagementChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.China Land Surveying and Planning InstituteBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of GovernmentSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations