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Determinants of cultivated land recuperation in ecologically damaged areas in China

Lu, Hua, Xie, Hualin, Lv, Tiangui, Yao, Guanrong
Land use policy 2019 v.81 pp. 160-166
fallow, farm labor, farmers, issues and policy, labor force, land management, models, probability, soil fertility, China
Cultivated land recuperation should focus on not only land fallow but also the conservation of fallow land. In the context of vigorous implementation of cultivated land recuperation policy in China, this study investigates the determinants of cultivated land recuperation in ecologically damaged areas in China. Farmers’ active participation in land fallow policy is necessary for realizing the recuperation of cultivated land and directly affects the outcome of cultivated land recuperation policy. To this end, we analyze farmers’ attitude towards land fallow and its conservation by using farmer data of the pilot areas for cultivated land recuperation in Guizhou Province. A binary choice model is used to quantitatively assess the factors affecting the conservation of fallow land. The results show that the shortage of agricultural labor force is the most important reason for farmers to participate in land fallow. Farmers' awareness that fallow land helps improve soil fertility is an essential determinant for the successful implementation of the land fallow policy. Expanding the size of plots and fallow land can increase the probability of farmers’ participation in fallow land conservation. The government should actively promote the integration of adjacent plots and increase the plot size to reduce the marginal cost of cultivated land recuperation. In addition, cultivated land recuperation policies should target on new agricultural management entities and increase their demonstration effect.