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Open AccessArticle

Sustainability of Agricultural Diversity in the Farm Households of Southern Tibet

1
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
2
Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Research, Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Sciences, Lhasa 850009, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5756; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205756
Received: 5 September 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 15 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Diversity)
Farming systems in Tibet are undergoing significant change as farm households are encouraged to shift from more subsistence-oriented staple cereals to more intensive, diverse, and integrated forage crop livestock systems reliant on engagement with external input and product markets. This is occurring at a time of rapid agrarian transition with more and more of the livelihoods, income, and expenditures of farm households dependent on off-farm sources. Modernizing an agricultural sector that can sustain the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and meet the demands of an ever more discerning customer base all within the confines of a limited resource base has proved a major R&D and policy challenge for Tibetan and Chinese officials, let alone the farmers and market actors impacted by these developments. In this paper, key drivers impacting diversity in Tibetan farm households, including agrarian transition and demographic, infrastructure, and food price developments, are outlined. The impact on household economics and on the environment of the more intensive and diverse farming systems are then discussed, along with the attitudes of farm households to the changing farming systems and to their future in farming. The paper finds significant labor and environmental challenges that farm households and policy makers must grapple with if the farming system and agrarian transition trajectories are to be sustained. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural diversity; Tibet; farming systems; agrarian transition; livestock development agricultural diversity; Tibet; farming systems; agrarian transition; livestock development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brown, C.; Yadav, L.P.; Zhang, J.; Zhouma, D. Sustainability of Agricultural Diversity in the Farm Households of Southern Tibet. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5756.

AMA Style

Brown C, Yadav LP, Zhang J, Zhouma D. Sustainability of Agricultural Diversity in the Farm Households of Southern Tibet. Sustainability. 2019; 11(20):5756.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brown, Colin; Yadav, Lava P.; Zhang, Jing; Zhouma, Deqing. 2019. "Sustainability of Agricultural Diversity in the Farm Households of Southern Tibet" Sustainability 11, no. 20: 5756.

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