[IEEE 2010 International Conference on Management and Service Science (MASS 2010) - Wuhan, China (2010.08.24-2010.08.26)] 2010 International Conference on Management and Service Science - Virtual Cultivated Land Trade: A New Thinking for Cultivated Land Resources Security

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  • Virtual Cultivated Land TradeA New Thinking for Cultivated Land Resources Security

    Li CHENG Tian-kun FANG Bo ZHANG College of Economics and Management

    Shenyang Institute of Aeronautical Engineering Shenyang, P .R. China

    AbstractVirtual cultivated land refers to the quantity of cultivated land resources needed during the production of goods and service. This paper chose four kinds of main grain products i.e. rice, maize, wheat and soybean, and calculated their trade volume of virtual cultivated land. The result showed, from 1978 to 2007 the average annual net import of virtual cultivated land came to nearly 4.4 million hectares. Based on econometric equation, import of virtual cultivated land made great contributions to relieving cultivated land pressure, guaranteeing grain security and safeguarding sustainable development of ecological environment in our country.

    Keywords-virtual cultivated land; grain trade; sustainable utilization of cultivated land

    I. INTRODUCTION China is faced with the reality of large population with

    uneven regional distribution and shortage of cultivated resources. In 2008, China has a population of 1.328 billion and cultivated land areas of 121.7 million hectares. Thus, cultivated land area per capita is 0.092 hectare, compared with 0.25 hectare of the world average. With fast development of social economy and gradual improvement of the industrialization and urbanization, cultivated land resources shortage and grain security and ecological environment problem initiated from this have already become main restriction factors for our country to realize sustainable development in the 21st century. Under such a background, it is how to realize sustainable utilization of cultivated land resources that becomes the urgent problem that we must think about.

    Grain trade, including grain flow among regions, existed from ancient times. However, it wasnt at the beginning of 1990s until people realized natural resources flow hidden in grain trade. The concept of Virtual Cultivated Land came from the concept of Virtual Water. Virtual Water was initially proposed in 1993 by English scholar Tony Allan, which refers to the quantity of water resources used for producing goods and service. Virtual water can not seen, which is deposited in the goods in an invisible way. Agricultural products trade between countries and regions actually imports or exports water resource in the form of virtual water in a way. Domestic scholar Guodong Cheng first introduced the concept of the virtual water in 2003[1]. And then Aihua Long and Xinhua Wang launched a series of research about virtual water [2] [3]. In production of the grain products, cultivated land

    resources are necessary basic resources, too. Domestic scholar Zhenli Luo put forward the concept of virtual cultivated land and virtual cultivated land strategy for the first time on basis of virtual water in 2004[4]. Baoqing Hu constructed the assessment systems of virtual cultivated land security strategy at country level, and on the basis of assessment of two western countries short of food, put forward the effective virtual cultivated land enforcement measures in 2006[5]. On the analysis of maizes allocation and transportation indexes such as quantity, output, sown area, etc, Lizhen Yan calculated the content of cultivated land resources of the maize, and drew conclusions that while meeting the grain demand of the southern area by the way of virtual cultivated land resources flow, the north area bore enormous economic ecological and social fair costs and should be supported in many aspects [6].

    This paper calculated virtual cultivated land trade volume hidden in grain import and export trade in our country from 1978 to 2007, and analyzed positive contribution of virtual cultivated land trade to relieve cultivated land resources pressure and guarantee grain security and realize sustainable utilization of resources. Finally, it carried on the discussion on how to implement virtual cultivated land strategies.

    II. CALCULATION METHODS AND DATA SOURCE

    A. Calculation Methods 1) virtual cultivated land

    Virtual cultivated land refers to the quantity of cultivated land needed for producing commodities or services. Virtual cultivated land strategy refers to that one country or region short of cultivated land resources can obtain cultivated land and grain security by importing cultivated land intensive products (mainly grain products) from that rich in cultivated land. A country or region which exports cultivated land resource intensive products, in fact exports cultivated land resources in the form of virtual cultivated land.

    The virtual cultivated land trade volume of a country or region depends on the quantity of the imported and exported product and unit yield of that product. Their formula of calculation is shown as follows:

    =

    =n

    i i

    ii

    WEINVLI

    1

    1

    978-1-4244-5326-9/10/$26.00 2010 IEEE

  • NVLI stands for net import volume of virtual cultivated land (unit: hectare/year); iI and iE stands for respectively import and export of crop (unit: kilo/year); iW stands for unit yield of crop (unit: kilo/hectare).

    2) cultivated land pressure index Yingming Li proposed cultivated land pressure index which

    was built as follows [7]:

    First, calculate grain cultivated land area (cultivated land area multiplied by the proportion of grain sown area in total sown area);

    Second, calculate land productivity of grain cultivated land (grain total yield divided by grain cultivated land area);

    Third, calculate relative grain cultivated land area (grain output every year divided by the average land productivity in the base year);

    Fourth, calculate relative cultivated land area (comparable grain cultivated land area divided by the proportion of grain sown area in total sown area);

    Fifth, calculate cultivated land pressure index (abbreviated by CLPI):

    1

    211A

    AofincreaseAofdecreaseCLPI += (2)

    1A stands for actual cultivated land area; 2A stands for relative cultivated land area.

    The implication is: if the decrease of actual cultivated land area is less than the increase of comparable cultivated land, cultivated land pressure index has not increased.

    B. Data Source In this paper, most data was from Chinas Agricultural

    Development Research Report 1978~2007. Among them, data of cultivated land area has taken new statistical standards since 1996. Therefore, we cant directly use statistics of cultivated land area from the yearbook, but rather for its revision1 . In this essay, we take new statistical standards in 1996 as the basic point, and we revise data of cultivated land area over the years from 1978 to 1995.

    III. CHARACTERISTICS OF GRAIN FOREIGN TRADE IN CHINA

    Since reform and opening-up, our country had mainly been shown as grain net importer. As shown in Fig. 1, from 1978 to 2007, our country was grain net importer in 21 years, compared with net exporter in only 9 years. In 2004, net import reached the largest of 24.84 million tons, and in 1993 net export

    1 By contrast, the data of cultivated land area after 1996 is relatively accurate and credible. And data change of cultivated land area over the years doesnt have statistical errors. Therefore, we take cultivated land area in 1996 as a basic point, the revision formula is as follows:

    6)1995199(1996)-5199(19961995 SS = decreaseincreaseyearbook SS

    reached the largest of 6.22 million tons. The grain foreign trade of our country mainly concentrated on rice, maize, wheat and soybean. Import volumes of four kinds of grain products accounted for 90% of grain total and export volumes accounted for 90.7% from 1978 to 2007. Among them, wheat and soybean were main import products, and rice and maize were main export products.

    -10

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    1978

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    Figure 1. Dynamic changes of net import volume of grain in China from 1978 to 2007

    IV. CALCULATION OF VIRTUAL CULTIVATED LAND TRADE IN CHINA

    This paper calculated virtual cultivated land trade volume of four kinds of grain products from 1978 to 2007 in our country. i.e. rice, maize, wheat and soybean (Fig. 2)

    According to calculation results, virtual cultivated land trade of four kinds of grain products in our country had been keeping great unfavorable balance all the time from 1978 to 2007. Among 30 years, except in 1985, 1986, 1993 and 1994, virtual cultivated land trade turned out net import trade. Net imports of virtual cultivated land increased from 4.16 million hectares in 1978 to 19.09 million hectares in 2007 with an average annul growth of 5.4%.

    From Fig. 2, from 1978 to 1984, net import volume of virtual cultivated land increased from 4.16 million hectares in 1978 to 6.26 million hectares in 1981, and then sharply fell to 2.2 million hectares in 1984. Virtual cultivated land trade turned out to be net export trade in 1985 and 1986. Since 1987, it then turned out net import trade of 2.58 million hectares. During 1987 to 1990, net import volume maintained from 2.5 to 3 million hectares. Virtual cultivated land trade fell into a state of violent fluctuation from 1991 to 1997, which decreased greatly from 1991 of 1.35 million hectares. Among it, it again turned out to be net export trade in 1993 and 1994. However, it grew to 4.6 million hectares in 1995, fell to 2.7