Academic journal article Asian Social Science

An Analysis of Interest Imbalance of Farmers in Basic Farmland Protection Areas

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

An Analysis of Interest Imbalance of Farmers in Basic Farmland Protection Areas

Article excerpt

Abstract

Ever since China carried out the policy of basic farmland protection, the speed of reduction in the amount of cultivated land resources has been alleviated to a certain extent, which indicates that the policy of basic farmland protection has achieved certain effect. However, with elapsing of the time, negative effects of the protection policy also begins to emerge. Taking the data about a field survey in Wuhan as the case study, this article makes a comparison between the income pattern and level of farmers both from basic farmland protection areas and from non-basic farmland protection areas, works out the opportunity cost of farmers' protection of cultivated land in the protection areas, employs the cost benefit analysis method and gets the following specific conclusions. In terms of planting structure, what farmers from protection areas plant most is food crop, whereas farmers from non-protection areas mostly plant commercial crop. This difference of planting structure leads to imbalance of interests of farmers. In terms of the income level, the proportion of income of farmers in protection areas to the income of farmers in non-protection areas is 1:4.3. Meanwhile, the proportion of income of farmers in protection areas to the income of urban residents is 1:6.25, indicating an extremely obvious interest imbalance.

Keywords: opportunity cost, interest imbalance, basic farmland, protection area

1. Problems Proposed

It was pointed out in the Third Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, we had to adhere to the most strict cultivated land protection system, put responsibilities into action at different levels and stick to the 1.8 billion Mu red line of cultivated land. With the social development of China and expedited speed of urbanization, the area of cultivated land has been reduced largely, which has begun to threaten the food security of the country. In order to respond to this crisis, the government has promulgated corresponding land protection policies to seek for rational development and use of land resources. It is under such a background that the basic farmland protection policy was put forward.

However, as the top priority of protection of cultivated land, basic farmland protection work has not been effectively and the reason is that the enthusiasm of the subjects of basic farmland protection has not been effectively stimulated. The method of the government for basic farmland protection is still mainly to depend on mandatory policies to guarantee implementation of the basic farmland protection, as a result of which the interests of farmers in the protection areas have not deserved due emphasis. With the change of the economic development mode, as the subjects of basic farmland protection, farmers will necessarily choose the subsistence mode of maximization of benefit. Compared with farmers in non-basic farmland protection areas, farmers in basic farmland protection areas have a continuously reduced index of living standard, which leads to difference between the policy will and farmers' will in the process of basic farmland protection. Under such circumstance, this article makes a research and analysis of the interest imbalance condition in the basic farmland protection areas.

2. An Analysis of Survey Data

The government carried out a series of quite strict cultivated land protection policies, including such external institutional systems as "Land Administration Law of the People's Republic of China" and "Regulations on the Protection of Basic Farmland" as the backbone and such internal operation specifications as "Technical rules for the delimitation of basic farmland protection zones" and "Technical rules for the environment of basic farmland protection Zones" as the backbone. Nevertheless, in the actual implementation process, the job of basic farmland protection is not up to expectations. The fundamental reason is that the enthusiasm of the subjects of basic farmland protection has not been fully exerted. …

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