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Agriculture in China

中种网

 I. Overview of Agriculture in China

 

1.1 Climate and Resources

 

China has a vast terrain territorywhich runs across five climate zones from the south to the north and gradually ascends from the east to the west like a three-step staircase, thus creating unique topographic features and diversified climatic conditions. Heat resources rise as altitude moves down from the north to the south, resulting in temperature and harvest time variations. The crops are harvested once a year in the northeast and northwest regions where the annual accumulated temperature ranges from 2500 to 3500, twice a year or three times in two year in North China (Huabei) Plain and the north part of middle and lower reaches of Yangtze river basin where it ranges from 4000 to 5000, and three times every year in the south part of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river where it ranges from 5000 to 7000 . When it goes up from 7000 to 8000 in the Mid-China (Huazhong) and South-China (Huanan) regions, crops grow and harvest all year round. Water resources decrease gradually from extremely humid zones in the southeast coasts (1600mm annual rainfall) to the arid areas in the inland northwest (below 200 mm). Precipitation is unevenly distributed geographically, seasonally and yearly, and follows the pattern of more in summer and autumn but less in winter and spring for most regions.

 

 

China is home to rich plant and animal resources. There are thousands of crop varieties plus their close wild relatives, including over 1200 plant cultivars of cereals, fruits, vegetables, grasses, flowers and natural rubber, about twenty animal species of swine, chicken, goose, yellow cattle, buffalo and others with a total of 576 breeds, and more than 20,000 recorded waterborne organisms including more than 3800 types of fishes, 300 reptiles, 40 water mammals, and 600 aquatic plants.

 

 

In 2008, there were 1.328 billion people, and 121.716 million hectare of cultivated land (according to China Land and Resources News) in China, comprising of a quarter of water paddy and three quarters of dryland. The per capita of cultivated land was 0.092 ha on average, or about 40% of the world’s average, thus making China a country gravely short of cultivated land resources.

 

Changes of per capita average cultivated land over years (unit: hectare)

 

 

1.2 Contribution of Agriculture to the National Economy

 

With accelerating urbanization and industrialization since 1980s, agriculture takes up lesser and lesser share in the GNP, but its role as the base and staunch pillar of the national economy has never changed. By using merely about 9% of the world’s cultivated land, China has not only managed to meet the demand of 1.328 billion people for grain and other agro-products, but also been able to provide raw materials, labors and a huge consumer market for industries, services and other sectors. In 2008, agriculture (in terms of added value) took up a share of 11.3% of the GDP and 36.6% of employment. It plays increasingly important roles in produce supply, food safety, and environment protection, as its multi-functionality fosters.

 

 

Share of Agriculture in the National Economy

 

Year

Agro-added value to GDP

Labors in farming to national total employment

Off-farm rural labors to national total employment

Rural retail sales of consumer goods to the total

Agricultural imports to the total imports

Agricultural exports to the total exports

1978

28.2

70.5

5.4

67.6

1980

30.2

68.7

4.8

65.7

1985

28.4

62.4

13.5

56.5

12.1

24.5

1990

27.1

60.1

13.4

53.1

16.1

17.2

1995

20.0

52.2

18.7

40.0

9.3

9.4

2000

15.1

50.0

21.0

38.2

5.0

6.3

2001

14.4

50.0

21.6

37.4

4.9

6.0

2002

13.7

50.0

22.4

35.8

4.2

5.6

2003

12.8

49.1

23.8

35.0

4.6

4.7

2004

13.4

46.9

25.4

34.1

5.0

3.9

2005

12.2

44.8

26.9

32.8

4.3

3.6

2006

11.3

42.6

32.5

4.1

3.2

2007

11.3

40.8

32.3

4.3

3.0

2008

11.3

39.6

 

32.0

5.1

2.8

中种网

7-24H

 
 
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