Forest genetic resources / Projects / China
Sand dune based greenhouses
Land degradation results from a combination of inappropriate use of the soil, and of over-grazing, in an attempt to produce more than the site can produce in a sustainable way. By introducing alternative crops, particularly cash crops, or other methods of generating income that provide incentives for the further stabilization of unproductive land, the reliance on unsustainable practices can be reduced. To try and respond to this challenge, the project has elaborated on the idea of integrating greenhouses for cash-crop production into the sand-dunes, using the sand dune as a protection against wind and cold. The main cash-crop is grapes, but others crops may also be approprate. If dunes could be made productive in this way, farmers would be more motivated to invest in dune-fixation.
The work with sand dune based greenhouses was started by the project in 1997. To date, the achievements include:
- new varieties of high-quality grapes successfully introduced and a reproduction base developed;
- six different types of dune-based greenhouses designed, built and in operation.