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Adapting to climate change: scenario analysis of grain production in China

Shudong Zhou (College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China) (China Center for Food Security Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Wenkui Zhou (College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Guanghua Lin (College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Jing Chen (Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disaster, School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China)
Tong Jiang (Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disaster, School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China) (National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China)
Man Li (Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)

China Agricultural Economic Review

ISSN: 1756-137X

Article publication date: 6 November 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of future climate change and the corresponding adaptation activities on grain production and its regional distribution in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applied the Chinese Agricultural Policy Analysis model, in combination with the findings from agronomic literature with highly detailed agricultural census data, to conduct equilibrium analysis under alternative impact (seasonal drought and climate warming) scenarios and adaptation scenarios (promoting water-saving irrigation, introducing new varieties, and the integrated) associated with climate change.

Findings

Simulation results indicate that climate change-induced seasonal drought and the resulting yield reduction will incur substantial losses to China’s grain production (by ~8 percent at a national scale). The application of water saving techniques can be an effective solution to seasonal drought. Introducing new varieties will increase the combination of promoting water-saving irrigation and new variety adoption will increase combination of promoting water-saving irrigation and new variety adoption constitute an effective approach to offsetting the negative effects of climate change on grain production.

Research limitations/implications

Simulation results indicate that climate change-induced seasonal drought and the resulting sown area reduction will incur substantial losses to China’s grain production by approximately 8 percent, despite farmers’ adaptation activities of switching from water use-intensive crops to drought-tolerant crops to mitigate this negative effect. The application of water saving techniques is an effective solution to seasonal drought; it can lead to a nationwide increase in the sown area by 3.48 percent and in the grain production by 4.15 percent. Introducing new varieties will increase grain outputs and change the spatial distribution of crop production across the country. The combination of promoting water-saving irrigation and new variety adoption will increase the national grain production by 19.6 percent, and thus constitute an effective approach to offsetting the negative effects of climate change on grain production.

Originality/value

Results from this study provide practical implications formulate strategies in response to climate change. Central government should reinforce the policies such as new varieties promotion and improve the subsidy method to guide the introduction of new varieties.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was conducted under the Key Project of National Philosophy and Social Science Foundation of China (13&ZD160), China Agricultural Research System (CARS-13), the Soft science project of Ministry of Agriculture of China (L201015), National Natural Science Foundation of China (71573135), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (XNC2012001), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), and China Center for Food Security Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University. Li received separate funds from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Climate Center for providing data set of Chinese Regional Climate Change Projection and the National Meteorological Information Center of China for valuable historical observations of temperature and precipitation.

Citation

Zhou, S., Zhou, W., Lin, G., Chen, J., Jiang, T. and Li, M. (2017), "Adapting to climate change: scenario analysis of grain production in China", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 643-659. https://doi.org/10.1108/CAER-10-2016-0173

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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