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Agricultural Policy Review

Abstract

THE SCARCITY of arable land is a deβining feature of Chinese agriculture (Zhang and Li 2018). In 2015, China fed 18.9 percent of the world’s population with only 8.5 percent of the world’s arable land. Furthermore, the limited agricultural land resource in China is distributed to 231 million households, resulting in an average farm size of only 0.96 acres per household (China Agricultural Development Report 2016), and even such small farms are usually scattered in several separate plots. Therefore, China faces two challenges: ( a ) preserving the quantity and quality of its arable land amid rapid urbanization; and, ( b ) consolidating land to increase agricultural productivity. China’s recent rural land reforms on these two aspects have implications not only for China, but the entire world.

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