Agricultural Sustainability Project Reached 20.9 Million Smallholder Farmers Across China
In a report in the journal Nature, the University of Pennsylvania’s Zhengxia Dou, professor of agricultural systems in the School of Veterinary Medicine, teamed with colleagues from China Agricultural University and other institutions in sharing the successful implementation of a long-term, broad-scale intervention that both improved yields and reduced fertilizer application across China. The effort, enacted over 10 years, engaged nearly 21 million farmers and increased yield on average more than 10 percent and lowered fertilizer use between 15 and 18 percent. Overall, the actions netted an increase in grain output with a decrease in fertilizer input and savings totaling $12.2 billion.
Photo: A massive, nation-wide effort to improve yields while reducing fertilizer use reached more than 20 million smallholder farmers across China. Penn Vet's Zhengxia Dou partnered in the effort, which was led by Fusuo Zhang of China Agricultural University (center, holding plant). (credit: University of Pennsylvania)