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Title   Inter-provincial Differences in Rice Multi-cropping Changes in Main Double-cropping Rice Area in China: Evidence from Provinces and Households
Authors   Wang Renjing, Li Xiubin, Tan Minghong, Xin Liangjie etc.
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Year   2019
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Abstract   Since the early 1980s, the multi-cropping index for rice has decreased significantly in main double-cropping rice area in China, which is the primary double-cropping rice (DCR) production area. This decline may bring challenges to food security in China because rice is the staple food for more than 60% of the Chinese population. It has been generally recognized that rapidly rising labor costs due to economic growth and urbanization in China is the key driving force of the double-to-single' rice cropping system adaption. However, not all provinces have shown a dramatic decline in DCR area, and labor costs alone cannot explain this difference. To elucidate the reasons for these inter-provincial distinctions and the dynamics of rice cropping system adaption, we evaluated the influencing factors using provincial panel data from 1980 to 2015. We also used household survey data for empirical analysis to explore the mechanisms driving differences in rice multi-cropping changes. Our results indicated that the eight provinces in the study can be divided into three spatial groups based on the extent of DCR area decline, the rapidly-declining marginal, core, and stable zones. Increasing labor cost due to rapid urbanization was the key driving force of rice cropping system adaption, but the land use dynamic vary hugely among different provinces. These differences between zones were due to the interaction between labor price and accumulated temperature conditions. Therefore, increasing labor costs had the greatest impact in Zhejiang, Anhui, and Hubei, where the accumulated temperature is relatively low and rice multi-cropping index declined dramaticly. However, labor costs had little impact in Guangdong and Guangxi. Differences in accumulated temperature conditions resulted in spatially different labor demands and pressure on households during the busy season. As a result, there have been different profits and rice multi-cropping changes between provinces and zones. Because of these spatial differences, regionally appropriate policies that provide appropriate subsidies for early rice in rapidly-declining marginal zone such as Zhejiang and Hubei should be implemented. In addition, agricultural mechanization and the number of agricultural workers have facilitated double-cropping; therefore, small machinery and agricultural infrastructure construction should be further supported.
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