Geographical Review of Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-1727
Print ISSN : 1347-9555
ISSN-L : 1347-9555
Changes in Medicinal Crop Production in the Urban Shadow of Beijing Metropolis under Agricultural Structure Adjustment: A Case Study of Zhengzhang Village, Hebei Province, China
Dai WANG
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2007 Volume 80 Issue 12 Pages 758-776

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to clarify changes in agricultural production, especially medicinal crop production in Zhengzhang Village, located in the urban shadow of Beijing Metropolis under agricultural structure adjustment. In addition, an analysis is carried out of the reasons that have caused these changes. Through this study, prospects of the developmental trends of agricultural production and farm management in farm households in the urban shadow of Beijing Metropolis are discussed. The P. R. of China (China) started to implement agricultural structure adjustment in 1999. Especially, to face the effects brought by China's entry to the WTO, the Chinese government strengthened the quality control of some agricultural products, which constitute part of China's agricultural structure adjustment. Zhengzhang Village has a tradition of medicinal crop production. Since the introduction of the Reform and Opening Policy, in order to gain more income, farm households have actively developed the business of cultivating and processing medicinal crops. But since 1999, due to the lack of capital to improve processing circumstances, some farm households had to abandon the medicinal crop processing business. Almost simultaneously, some farm households short of agricultural labor abandoned medicinal crop cultivation and transferred to food crop cultivation which provided low but stable income. As a result, in Zhengzhang Village under agricultural structure adjustment, medicinal crop production is diminishing, and income polarization among farm households is becoming obvious. These changes can be mainly attributed to government policy adjustments. Other factors, such as market force, social situation and globalization, also played important roles. This study carried out a detailed field survey of land use and farm management in farm households.

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