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Effect of ecological agriculture project construction on the regional environment improvement

The effect of ecological environment destruction
Utilizing ecological agriculture project to improve the regional environment
The situation of implementing and results
Problems need solving in the construction of ecological agriculture

Han Yuzhen*
Yang Jun*
Liu Jianbo Wang Changwen**
Li Taihao**
* Jilin Agricultural Environmental Protection Monitoring Station

Changchun. Jilin Province, 130000, China
** Jilin Agricultural University
Changchun. Jilin Province, 130118, China

Paper No.9409


Xinnong village, Wanfaxiang, Fuyu City, Baicheng District of Jilin Province is in a windy and semi-arid area. The vegetation in the area has been seriously destroyed by human and natural factors. The land has lost its natural protective screen and the natural productive forces were decreasing year by year. After the introduction of the ecological agriculture project technology, we made a unified plan based on the village's natural resources. We carried out the construction of grass and tree planting, low-yield farmland improvement and exploitation of energy resources. This changed the village's natural environment a great deal and economic, ecological and social benefits increase year by year.

The effect of ecological environment destruction

Xinnong village is made up of three smaller ones. The village population is 909 in 211 families. The total area is 583 ha., including 375 ha. of arable land, 33 ha. of forest and 66 ha. of grassland. Before 1980, the village's ecological environment was seriously destroyed. Almost all the trees were cut down by the villagers. This made the land lose its protective screen and the wind blew freely and violently. The wind could come from one of the three small villages and badly destroy 40 ha. of arable land. In spring, the seeds and fertilizer were blown away by the wind. Furthermore, the small trees could be uprooted. On windy days, vehicles had to slow down when they passed through the area. The ridges were blown away by the strong wind. The crops had to be planted two or three times in spring. Before 1978, the villagers did not know how to protect the land, and it was getting poorer and poorer. Meanwhile, the grassland was seriously destroyed as a result of the villagers using the grassland freely. Destruction of the ecological environment meant that havoc was caused freguently by wind, flood and drought. The land could not be used adequately by the people. The villagers could not live without relief funds and relief grain from the State. They owed more than 200, 000 yuan to the State. Meanwhile, they could not deliver tax grain to the State, on the contrary, they used up more than 100, 00 kg of relief grain in one year. The grain yield of per mu was less than 100 kg and the income per person was below 100 yuan.

Utilizing ecological agriculture project to improve the regional environment

The principle for setting up ecological agriculture is to match ecological technology measures (the combination of ecological and engineering measures) to local conditions. It involves using systematic management methods, grass and tree planting technology, improvement of medium and low farmland and overall use of rural energy resources in order to tackle and improve the ecological environment.

Planting Trees and Grass to Build a Green Treasure House

It has been proved that grass and tree planting is a kind of multifunctional biological engineering process which produces multibenefits. Forest and grassland can provide enormous ecological benefits. The forest has constant resources and provides a green protective screen. The grassland is a community of green plants. They play an important role in protecting the natural environment. The main functions are as follows: First, they can reduce wind speed. It has been reported that the wind speed can be reduced by 20-30% with 20-25% times the height of the trees. Secondly, they can adjust the air temperature.

In spring and fall, farmland shelter-forest can increase the air and earth temperature. In summer, they can lower the air and earth temperatures. It has been shown that in spring and fall, the air and earth temperatures are 0.6-1.2°C, 0.5-2.3°C higher than these of open fields respectively; in summer, the air and earth temperatures are 0.2-0.6'C, 0.8-0.9°C lower than those of open fields respectively. During the crop fertility period, the effective accumulated temperature within the shelter-forest is 60°C higher than that of open fields. Thirdly, they can decrease evaporation and increase humidity. Generally, within an area of 20 times height of the trees, the amount of water evaporating is decreased by 15-20% compared with open fields. Within an area of 10 times height of the trees, the amount of water evaporating is 15.3%-30.5% lower than that of open fields. The natural water content of soil in grass land is 15% higher than that of open fields. Fourthly, they are beneficial to the crops growing and developing. The seed sprout period can be advanced by up to five days and the frost-free period can be prolonged by up to ten days under favourable ecological environmental conditions of forest and grassland. Finally, they are resistant to natural disasters and help increase farmland yield and bumper harvests. Forest and grassland can play an important role in windbreak, sand-fixation, soil erosion reduction, improvement of farmland and prevention of natural disasters.

Improving Low-Yield Field to Increase Land Productivity. Saline-alkali soil has a high pH (8.5-10), so the content of saline-alkali is high. This means that the soil has a high degree of stickiness and poor aeration and permeability. In spring, the temperature of the earth goes up again slowly. It is difficult to produce seedlings and drain the flood water. Something must be done in order to solve the problems.

1. Earth Improvement

To counter the characteristics of saline-alkali soil, earth improvement processes must be carried out. This is done through alkali-control and earth-shifting to eliminate the affect of high saline-alkali in some areas and to prevent the salinization from extending. Sand is used to cover alkali and seriously destroyed land is divided into different size striped fields. Deep field ditches and high ridges are used to increase the height of crop beds and decrease water level. Fifty cart of earth from other areas are used per ha.

2. Using Fertilizer to Adjust the Alkali Level.

Tests have shown that saline-alkali soil contains less organic matter. Use of fertilizers to adjust the alkali levels is an important way of improving saline-alkali soil. We can use three cubic metres of high-quality farmyard manure per mu of saline-alkali soil and plough straw back into the soil.

3. Setting up Adequate Irrigation and Drainage Systems

Scientific methods of adjusting water for the improvment of saline-alkali soil. We achieved the situation that the land can be irrigated when there is a drought and it can be drained when there is a flood. This can gradually reduce the salinization of the land and help regain its productivity.

Extending the Construction of Rural Energy Resources and Putting More Organic Matter in the Field. This is an effective way of relieving the contradictory elements among fuel, foodstuff and fertilizer. First, saving firewood and improving stoves. The old type of stoves had low thermal efficiency, so firewood consumption is very high. If the stoves were readapted and made into firewood-saving ones, this will make houses warmer and save 1, 500 - 2, 0000 kg firewood per stove yearly. Provided that 200 kg of firewood could be saved, we could use them to develop livestock husbandry, fertilizer and give them back to the fields. Secondly, building biogas plants. Biomass is a clean, cheap energy resource. Households using biogas can provide a family of five with living energy for 4-6 months. In this way, 1500 kg firewood can be saved and 8-10 tons of biogas manure can be produced in a year. Thirdly, the exploitation and utilization of new energy resources, such as solar stove, solar energy collector and wind power generator, can meet the shortage of rural energy resources, decrease firewood consumption, increase the amount straw ploughed back into the field and increase soil fertility.

The situation of implementing and results

Taking into account the destroyed ecological situation and the principle of ecology, the leaders of Xinnong drew up a comprehensive development program in hill, water, forest, farmland and road harnessing. They utilized the technology of ecological agriculture project to assemble and construct the village environment and achieved great economic, ecological and social benefits.

First, they made a plan from 1980 to the present. They have planted more than 900, 000 trees i.e. 900 trees per person. The forest net is 27 km which is made up of the shelter-forest system which has the function of checking winds and controlling sand. It consists of 14 ha. of firewood, 200, 000 trees and 15, 000 different kinds of fruit trees. The forming of a forest belt and development of fruit trees have reduced the disasters of wind and sand, and have improved farmland conditions. Favourable conditions for rural economic development have been created.

Secondly, they drew up a water saving scheme and one for improving saline-alkali soil as well as devising a scheme for improving soil and collecting manure. In the past decade, they have removed 200, 000 cubic meters of earth and have dug 53 drainage water canals which are 53, 360 meters long. Finally, the conveyance system of main drainage water and field drainage water works was formed. Seventy ha. of low-lying and easy-flooding farmland were improved. Meanwhile, they used the method of sand-covering alkali soil to improve soil. They removed 9, 000 cubic meters of sand to 120 ha. of saline-alkali land. What they have done has changed the barren land into fertile farmland.

Thirdly, extending rural energy resources technology. Every house has been installed with a high-efficiency, firewood-saving and heat preserving kang-stove. Forty houses have been installed with a biogas plant. Eight houses and the primary school have had solar collectors installed. Twenty-five families have moved into solar energy heat preserving houses. In addition, a wind power generator has been installed as well as 8, 000 square meters of plastic green house in the village. With the development of rural energy resources construction, the problem of rural energy for domestic consumption has been solved and the shortage of rural energy resources has been relieved. Meanwhile, a great deal of biomass energy could be saved. In the past decade, they saved more than 400, 000 cubic meters of straw which was put back into the field to increase the soil content of organic matter. Tests show that the content of organic matter has been increased from 1.16% to 1.89%. Compared with the soil fertility of a neighbouring village, there are significant differences. (See Table 1)

Table. 1 The tested results of soil fertility


organic matter %

total N %

total P %

alkali soluable N ppm

quick-acting (P2O5) ppm


quick- PH acting K

the alkali land in Xinnong village the alkli land








in Longfeng village








the sandy land in Xinnong village








the sandy land in Longfeng village








With the ten year construction, XinNong village's ecological environment has been changed a great deal. Agricultural production has increased rapidly. The grain per mu yield in 1991 was 860 kg which was eight times as much as that in 1980. The details are shown in Fig.1.

Fig. 1 The per mu yield situation between 1980-1990

In addition, they have developed rural industry and sidelines. Two brickyards have been set up which have a production capacity of 24, 000, 000 bricks. These have an output value of 1, 800, 000 yuan and make a yearly profit 400, 000 yuan.

An ice-cream factory with a 40, 000 yuan output value and 6000 yuan profit and a diary factory with 20, 000 yuan output value have also been set up. There are two fishponds in the village which could make a profit of about 5, 000 yuan yearly. The village's output value and per person incomes are increasing year by year. In 1991, the total income was 1, 450, 000 yuan which was 4.5 times as much as that of 1981, and annual per person income was 1, 000 yuan which was 2.8 times as much as that of 1980. With the introduction of the ecological agriculture project, the earth-shaking changes of Xinnong's ecological environment and agricultural production have taken place. Meanwhile, they achieved the harmonious development of agriculture, forestry, livestock husbandry, sideline and fishery. A unified fine circle among economic, ecological and social benefits was formed. The step of going to comparatively well-off was greatly accelerated.

Problems need solving in the construction of ecological agriculture

Baicheng district is a windy, dusty, dry and alkalized plain area in Jilin province. The percentage of forest covering is low and grass land is seriously degenerated. Xinnong village had set up a good example in the construction of ecological agriculture. Some problems should be solved if we want to extend the experience.

1. Deepen Understanding and Strengthen Leadership.

Leaders at all levels must realize that the natural environment of Baicheng district can be changed and consider the construction of ecological agriculture project as an important thing. They should make a realistic plan and achieve it step by step.

2. Clearly Understanding the Main Constructing Goal.

The focal point of ecological agriculture project should be put on the aspects of planting shelter-forest and fuel forest improving degenerated grassland and low- yield farmland, which could improve the ecological environment and meet the shortage of fuel and foodstuff.

3. Broadening Sources of Income and Reducing Expenditure, Complementing Each Other

Another Among Energy Resources. Baicheng district is rich in solar energy and wind energy resources. So new energy resources technology should be adopted in order to exploit local natural resources. Different kinds of energy- saving technology should be strengthened and extended.

4. Implementing the Policy and Bringing Every Positive Factor into Play.

In the construction of ecological agriculture project, we should observe the principle of advantages to the state, collective and individuals. For example, we may divide the land into different pieces and plant trees within the fixed time, and the right of the forest can belong to the individuals. The farmers can get the loan on favourable terms if they have difficulties in funds.

It has been proved that the agricultural ecological environment could be improved gradually in poor natural environment areas if the construction of ecological agriculture project was carried out. The favourable conditions in the development of high yield, high quality and high efficiency agriculture can be created and the backwardness of rural areas can be changed.

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