Desertification in Mu Us Sandland


The Study on Peasant Household’s Land Resource Use Behavior and Its Impacts on Desertification in Mu Us Sandland

Farmers’ production and life have been seriously affected by desertification, and land desertification has become one of the most serious environment problem in rural. Human activities have direct impacts on the formation and expansion of land desertification. The main reason of land desertification in northern farming-pastoral region is the excessive use of land. It is an important factor for us to research farmers’ behavior and then to make measures to control land desertification.

Based on peasant households’ Economic theory, this paper makes a research on 131 peasant households of WuShenqi and EQianqi in Inner Mongolia Mu Us Sandland and combined with factors of resource, policy and market in order to analyze the relationship between behavior of peasant households and the desertification. Finally, several suggestions and policy recommendations are raised to cope with desertification and sustainable land use.

The study methods consisted of Descriptive Statistics, Multinomial Regression Model. Specifically, Multinomial Regression Models were applied to analyze factors affecting the famers’ land reclamation behavior, the use of alternative energy and households’ willingness to prohibit grazing.

The conclusions of the article are:

Firstly, peasant households’ activities on the use of land resources are affected by many factors, and the leading factors are very different:

(1) The population pressure has a significant impact on land reclamation;

(2) Animal husbandry production scale depends on Agricultural resource endowment;

(3) The family income levels and market factors have great impacts on household’s use of alternative energy sources;

(4) Due to different resource endowments between farmers and pastoralists, the use of the land is different.

Secondly, for breaking through resources constraints and meeting their production and living needs, the households take some effective measures.

The effects are:

(1) The use of alternative energy sources can effectively reduce the volume of fuel wood collection;

(2) The way of pasture lease can expand the scale of animal husbandry, but it is difficult to ease the pressure on the grassland.

Thirdly, ecological Engineering and policies have some different effects.

This study gives a brief assessment on the aerial sowing project and the grazing prohibition policy, and the conclusions are:

(1) Peasant households gain benefit from the aerial sowing project, and have strong desires to participating;

(2) Most farmers do not comply with the grazing prohibition policy, and their enthusiasm is not high.

At the end of this paper, the suggestions on promoting the transfer of rural labor force, encouraging the use of alternative energy sources, encouraging farmers to participate the sandland controlling and the industries are put forward.

See the text: Agricultural Science Paper

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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