Water and Land Effects on Agricultural Development for River Basin: Resource Restriction and Sustainable Development

Living reference work entry
Part of the Ecohydrology book series (ECOH)


Water and land resources play vital roles in agricultural growth. They not only remarkably support overall economic growth but may also restrict agricultural development. To document the influence of water and land on agriculture, we examined the “drag effects” of these two resources in limiting agricultural production. In this study, data from eight counties collected during 2000–2012 from the Heihe Agricultural Production Area in Gansu Province were used to analyze the drag effects of water and land resources on agricultural growth. These effects varied largely among the eight counties, which were consistent with the availability of these resources. Also we used a three-stage data envelopment analysis for examining agricultural water use efficiency (WUE) and related issues in Heihe River Basin from 2004 to 2012. This method adjusts technology efficiency (TE), pure technology efficiency (PTE), and scale efficiency (SE). Results show that WUE-related efficiency varies according to scale. TE and SE decreased in the study area, while PTE increased. This means the effects of pure technology on improving overall technology are very limited, and scale adjustment is vitally important to the agricultural production area in the Heihe River Basin. The results provide recommendations for decision-makers to plan efficient use of water resources in arid and semiarid areas. This study will give scientific support to coordinating development with the availability of water and land resources in agricultural areas of China.


Water and land resources Agricultural growth Restriction Drag effect Three-stage data envelopment analysis 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of International TradeShanxi University of Finance and EconomicsTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Center for Chinese Agricultural PolicyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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