• An evaluation of the introduction of modified cropping practices in Yunnan Province, China, using surveys of farmers' households

      Subedi, Madhu; Hocking, Trevor J.; Fullen, Michael A.; McCrea, Alison R.; Milne, E.; Mitchell, David J.; Wu, Bozhi (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V., 2009)
      Problems associated with land degradation are serious in China. Sloping land in South China has experienced a decline in crop productivity by 30-60% due to soil erosion and it has been predicted that most topsoil will be lost within the next 100 years if current erosion rates continue. Considering these situations, an agro-environmental research and development project (Sustainable Highland Agriculture in South-East Asia – SHASEA) was conducted in a catchment in Yunnan Province, China, to address the objectives of increasing crop productivity in sustainable and environmentally-friendly ways. A range of cropping practices was developed and implemented in a rural upland catchment (Wang Jia). At the end of the project, farmers were surveyed to evaluate project effectiveness. All farmers from Wang Jia Catchment, who were involved in project implementation, were surveyed. A sample of farmers working in an adjacent catchment (not associated with the project) was surveyed for comparative purposes. Farmers had different perceptions of the cropping practices employed. Contour cultivation was preferred and likely to be adopted. Others practices such as straw mulching and intercropping were seen as less appropriate and unlikely to be adopted. Polythene mulch was recognized as effective, but likely to be adopted only if financial returns were favourable. The availability of relevant information had an important impact on the extent of technology testing by farmers and their willingness to adopt the practices in the future.