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Title: The impacts of land tenure reform on China's agricultural environment
Author: Hu, W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1999
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This study aims to investigate the ongoing and potential degradation of China's agro-ecological environment since the land ownership reform of 1978. The reformed individual household land tenure and other agricultural polices have stimulated farmers' incentives for agricultural production. However, they have also encouraged short-sighted decisions and the irresponsible use of land resources and, consequently, have led to the degradation of China's agro-ecological environment. This situation is deteriorating. Current research in China has focused only on the broad issue of degradation rather than the relationship between degradation and the land tenure system. This is because the shift from collective farming to individual farms has been greeted with international acclaim, leading government officials to become over optimistic about agricultural growth under the existing land tenure system. In addition, the issue of land property rights (especially private land ownership) is a sensitive one that researchers have avoided. This dissertation comprises a detailed study of the linkage between current land tenure systems and agro-ecological environmental degradation. The extent and rate of both social and physical capital degradation (weakened collective functions, decline of irrigated lands, communal capital deterioration, farming land degradation and overgrazing, etc.) are assessed and their relationship with land policies and land tenure in two different areas in China are demonstrated. These areas are Changping county, a developed agricultural site with strong collective farming management and mixed household farming systems; and Shenmu county, an undeveloped site with only the household responsibility system and more ongoing privatisation. In the collective era, Changping was a rich county for farming, and Shenmu, a poor county for agricultural production. In both areas, the agricultural performance and management system in the post-reform period was compared to the cost of overall rural environmental degradation of social and physical capital base, and the degradation trend examined and analysed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available