China’s agricultural prospects and challenges. Report on scenario simulations until 2030 with the Chinagro welfare model covering national, regional and county level

Fischer, G., Huang, J., Keyzer, M.A., Qiu, H., Sun, L., & van Veen, V.C.M. (2007). China’s agricultural prospects and challenges. Report on scenario simulations until 2030 with the Chinagro welfare model covering national, regional and county level. Centre for World Food Studies, VU University Amsterdam

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The report describes prospects and challenges for Chinese agriculture until 2030 under different scenarios, using the Chinagro welfare model. A scenario is defined as a coherent set of assumptions about exogenous driving forces (farm land, population, non-agricultural growth, world prices etc.), derived from the literature and own assessments. Under these assumptions, simulations with the Chinagro model analyze the price-based interaction between the supply
behavior of farmers, the demand behavior of consumers and the determination of trade flows by merchants.

The outcomes from the Baseline scenario seem reassuring in that foreign imports remain moderate relative to China’s size, though quite large as fraction of world trade. It would be possible to feed people as well as animals without excessive imports. There is even a potential for
significant export flows of vegetables and fruits. Regarding concerns, the trends in per capita agricultural value added are problematic, because they stay in all regions behind per capita value added outside agriculture, albeit that they are rising steadily. This leads to growing disparity in per capita incomes within and across regions. The mounting environmental pressure from fertilizer losses and unused manure surpluses is another cause of concern. The second scenario, the Trade liberalization scenario, appears to hurt farm incomes more than it benefits them and to raise the gap with non-agriculture, also because food becomes cheaper in urban areas. Hence, it highlights the difficult choice between economic efficiency and poverty alleviation that
agricultural policy makers often face. The High income growth scenario reinforces the national food self-sufficiency result of the baseline simulation. Even with meat demand higher than under the baseline, levels of imports remain manageable. The High R&D scenario shows that a considerable reduction in dependence on agricultural imports is possible. However, a substantial part of the gains will accrue to consumers rather than to farmers, due to price reductions. Finally, the Enhanced irrigation scenario shows outcomes similar to those of the high R&D scenario. Here also the agricultural trade balance improves and consumer welfare improves, but farmers have to cope with drops in prices, and those who do not benefit from land improvement, only experience losses through falling prices.
The present report is written at the onset of the CATSEI project that will analyze policy packages with more specificity and detail after implementing the following model improvements. First, the impact of China’s imports and exports on world markets will be represented explicitly. Second, the developments outside agriculture in rural areas will be accounted for endogenously, particularly to represent farm revenue from off-farm employment. Third, the trade and transportation margins between farm-gates and markets will be made dependent on the relative
flexibility of the actors (farmers, processors, traders) along the chain. Finally, the various techniques to identify more efficient and more sustainable use of scarce water and nutrients and to address health risks will appear more explicitly.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Water (WAT)
Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LUC)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 11:49
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:29

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