Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (6): 592-608.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.003

• Agriculture and Food Security in China • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Where Are Potential Regions for the Reallocation of Wheat in the Context of Chinese Land Fallow and Food Security Policies? Findings from Spatio-temporal Changes in Area and Production Between 1990 and 2014

WANG Xue1,*, LI Xiubin1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • Received:2018-06-28 Revised:2018-09-12 Online:2018-11-30 Published:2018-11-30
  • Contact: *WANG Xue, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (41701092), National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0502103), National Key Basic Research and Development Program (2015CB452706)

Abstract: One of the aims of the recently initiated land fallow policy is to encourage winter wheat abandonment in order to recover the groundwater environment of the North China Plain (NCP); although this also threatens a national secure supply of this crop, as the NCP is the major wheat producing area in China. It is therefore necessary to consider regional wheat reallocation in order to meet the twin challenges of production and water conservation. An evaluation of spatiotemporal changes in wheat area and production across China in recent years may shed light on the regions that have the potential for reallocation; such trends are analyzed in this study using agricultural statistical data. Three over-arching principles are proposed that reallocation must be naturally suitable, economically feasible, and socially acceptable, and together with the result of the spatiotemporal analysis, two continuous areas are recommended as potentially suitable for wheat reallocation—alongside the Huai River and the cold region of northeastern China. We also present strategies to improve wheat yields as well as policies for farmers, aiming to encourage the reallocation of wheat to the regions highlighted in this study.

Key words: China, land fallow, regional reallocation, spatio-temporal changes, wheat