Soils Degradation in China

Reduction in Agricultural Resources

Background

The People's Republic of China is located in eastern Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean, has a land area of around 9,600,000 km2 and contains about 23 percent of the world's total population with over 1.4 billion inhabitants. More than 300 millions people in China are dependent on the agricultural industry as almost 50 percent of China's total work force are employed by the agricultural sector. Agricultural is responsible for 12 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product in the country.

Chinese Agricultural Production since 1975

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Chinese Land Used for Agriculture

China's planted area has increased by 7.5% over the past 35 years.
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Chinese Arable Land and Land in Use

Arable land accounts for about 11% of China's total landmass. Over the last few years, the amount of land suitable for growing crops in China has shrunk due to increasing industrialization and environmental degradation.
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Chinese Fertilizer Usage since 1975

China's fertilizer consumption grew 741% between 1975 and 2010, driving a 124% increase in grain production.
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Commercial Farming

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The coastal region is home to a temperate climate with simultaneous rainfall and solar radiation. The topography is characterized by hills, plains, and a long coastline. Most of the area is subtropical with plenty of precipitation. With a high proportion of arable land,

well-equipped machinery, and a long history of cultivation, it is an important base of commercial farming. The staple agricultural productions include wheat, rice, cotton, maize, vegetables, fruits, and animals. Around 75 percent of the total cultivated land is used for producing food crops and 80 percent of that land is used for commercial landing.

Soil Degradation

Due to the lack of regulations and care, more than 40 percent of China's total land area is currently suffering from soil erosion. Soil loss through water erosion is the most serious land degradation in China. While most of soil erosion comes from natural causes, some of it comes from excessive agricultural uses. From excessive agricultural planting, China's area of arable land has decreased greatly over the past 50 years. One important causes stems from the desire of rapid growth and stimulation of the economy after the Cultural Revolution in 1976. Despite recent government action and regulation, many estimated that within 35 years, over 100 million people in south-west China will lose the land they live on if soil erosion continues at its current rate.