China’s Agricultural Regions

Amy Zader

in Chinese Studies

ISBN: 9780199920082
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:
China’s Agricultural Regions

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • East Asian Studies
  • Asian History
  • East Asian Philosophy
  • East Asian Religions


Show Summary Details


The production of China’s agriculture has been a topic both observed and scrutinized by many within and outside of China. The scope of work has been focused on how the government and people have been able to feed China’s large and growing population. Since around 1990, however, the focus has shifted from Chinese agricultural production as a nation to regional production. This allows researchers to take a more focused and micro-examination of larger agricultural processes happening in China. A new regional focus on agriculture in specific places allows scholars to understand the various—and often competing—sources of pressure that farmers, agricultural experts, and state officials face in terms of producing agricultural products, maintaining economic development, and working within environmental constraints. In any case, maintaining a high level of self-sufficiency in grain production, making agriculture profitable, and producing healthy food in a way that does not further harm the environment are all ideals that Chinese officials at all government levels strive to achieve. In recent years, China has undergone massive industrialization, which has affected land use in regions throughout the country. The southeast is no longer the large rice-producing region that it once was, as many rice paddy fields have been converted to industrialization. At the same time, the northeast has undergone a transformation from being a large industrial zone to gaining the reputation as the breadbasket of China as more and more grain is produced in this region. Meanwhile, regions such as western and northern China have encountered significant environmental constraints as a result of water shortages. Together, these issues drive the complex and multifaceted practices of agriculture in China. Environmental concerns about agricultural production and fears of food insecurity have certainly influenced leaders to make sure that they maintain high levels of self-sufficiency in grain and other staple products. Moreover, reforms in the countryside beginning in the early 1980s enabled private companies in the 1990s to come into certain villages and counties and to set up incentives to enable specialty crop production in those regions. A regional focus on these areas reveals just how diverse agricultural practices and constraints can be in this populous nation.

Article.  6937 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Studies ; Asian History ; East Asian Philosophy ; East Asian Religions

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.