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Article

Reduction of Fertilizer Use in South China—Impacts and Implications on Smallholder Rice Farmers

1
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila 1301, Philippines
2
Institute of Human Geography/Urban and Regional Studies, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel 4056, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062240
Received: 11 February 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 4 March 2020 / Published: 13 March 2020
Despite the overuse of fertilizer in China, yields have stagnated while environmental pollution has risen. To increase sustainable production, the “Three Controls” Technology (3CT) was adopted in Guangdong Province as an agricultural best management practice for rice production. Its goal is to reduce the fertilizer use of farmers while decreasing the number of unproductive tillers and controlling pests and diseases. The objective of this study was to determine the farmers’ perception of 3CT focusing on three different impact factors: economic, social, and environmental. Using a digital survey questionnaire application, 142 farmers from six villages in Guangdong Province were interviewed to evaluate perceived changes in their farming and livelihood since adopting 3CT. Results showed that the farmers were highly satisfied with 3CT. They perceived positive livelihood changes and increased agronomic performance with reduced fertilizer use. Farmers who had adopted 3CT for the longest perceived significantly higher levels of change, more benefits, and improved agricultural efficiency. The study showed that 3CT is highly appreciated by farmers due to its effectiveness, ease of use, and compatibility. Our model highlighted the relevance of including social and environmental impact analysis for sustainability research in agriculture. Ultimately, 3CT has the potential of being implemented in other regions of China. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable agriculture; best management practices; input use; fertilizer reduction; perception; impact; China sustainable agriculture; best management practices; input use; fertilizer reduction; perception; impact; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wehmeyer, H.; de Guia, A.H.; Connor, M. Reduction of Fertilizer Use in South China—Impacts and Implications on Smallholder Rice Farmers. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2240. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062240

AMA Style

Wehmeyer H, de Guia AH, Connor M. Reduction of Fertilizer Use in South China—Impacts and Implications on Smallholder Rice Farmers. Sustainability. 2020; 12(6):2240. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062240

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wehmeyer, Helena, Annalyn H. de Guia, and Melanie Connor. 2020. "Reduction of Fertilizer Use in South China—Impacts and Implications on Smallholder Rice Farmers" Sustainability 12, no. 6: 2240. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062240

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