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Sustainability 2014, 6(1), 267-282; doi:10.3390/su6010267
Article

Nonparametric Forecasting for Biochar Utilization in Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone in China

1,†
 and 2,†,*
1 School of Public Finance and Taxation, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu 611130, China 2 Institute of Poyang Lake Eco-economics, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330013, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 26 December 2013 / Published: 6 January 2014
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Abstract

Agriculture is the least profitable industry in China. However, even with large financial subsidies from the government, farmers’ living standards have had no significant impact so far due to the historical, geographical, climatic factors. The study examines and quantifies the net economic and environmental benefits by utilizing biochar as a soil amendment in eleven counties in the Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone. A nonparametric kernel regression model is employed to estimate the relation between the scaled environmental and economic factors, which are determined as regression variables. In addition, the partial linear and single index regression models are used for comparison. In terms of evaluations of mean squared errors, the kernel estimator, exceeding the other estimators, is employed to forecast benefits of using biochar under various scenarios. The results indicate that biochar utilization can potentially increase farmers’ income if rice is planted and the net economic benefits can be achieved up to ¥114,900. The net economic benefits are higher when the pyrolysis plant is built in the south of Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone than when it is built in the north as the southern land is relatively barren, and biochar can save more costs on irrigation and fertilizer use.
Keywords: biochar; Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone; nonparametric estimation biochar; Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone; nonparametric estimation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chang, M.-S.; Kung, C.-C. Nonparametric Forecasting for Biochar Utilization in Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone in China. Sustainability 2014, 6, 267-282.

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