China’s Grain Production under Bottom-up and Top-down Patterns of Agricultural Reforms: A Typical Case Study in Anhui Province

Wei Shui, Gregory Veeck


By reviewing the changes in China’s agricultural reforms since 1978 from the perspective of its initiator, guide, designer and organizer, the author defines two stages of agricultural reforms: one is the bottom-up stage in early 1980s and the other is the top-down stage after China’s entry into WTO. With a comprehensive quantitative-qualitative analysis of grain production of Anhui Province in response to the full implementation of the bottom-up and top-down agricultural reforms, conclusions are drawn as follows: 1) grain production growth has made great contributions to solving China’s grain food crisis during the bottom-up agricultural reform as well as to China’s grain food security at the top-down reform stage; 2) in general, among all sorts of socioeconomic factors, arable land, chemical fertilizers and mechanization have exerted the most significant influence on grain yield; 3) in contrast, chemical fertilizers and irrigation played the most critical role in early 1980s, followed by arable land and mechanization, while at the stage of the top-down agricultural reform, the main influencing factors include arable land, mechanization, chemical fertilizers and irrigation in sequence; 4) along with the increasing trend of agricultural specialization and clustering after the entry into WTO, irrigation and mechanization have made less contribution to grain production growth, while chemical fertilizers have been under the law of diminishing returns; 5) natural disasters including serious droughts and floods have been playing a special role in the stagnation and fluctuation of grain growth. Currently, with the leadership of government and the participation of peasants themselves, the negative influences exerted by natural disasters have been relieved a lot.

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)  Email:

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