HOME > Policy Research > Research Reports > Policy Research Reports > 1999

The Cooperative and Demonstrative Program between China and Canada on Sustainable Development of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Inner Mongolia

1999-10-23author:Hao Yidongsource:

  Ladies and gentlemen:

  Inner Mongolia is located in northern China, and has a temperate continental climate, which is cold, windy, drought. Natural disaster happens frequently. This natural condition determines that Inner Mongolia can only take the way of sustainable development of ecological agriculture and animal husbandry. Inner Mongolia has a narrow and long topography, striding across Northeast, North and Northwest of China. It is an important ecological shelter in Northern China. Inner Mongolia possesses one eighth of nation's area, one fifth of grassland, one seventh of forest and one fourteenth of cropland. These determine the position of Inner Mongolia as an important base for animal husbandry, forest, food and plant oil production in China. The sustainable development of agriculture and animal husbandry is not only the fundamental base of economy and society development in Inner Mongolia, it plays an important role in China also. Since the carrying out of economic reform and opening the gate to the world from later of 1970's, Inner Mongolia had renewed management manner, paid heavy attention to science and technology, and made great effort in improving animal breeding, basic construction and output. The agriculture and animal husbandry products have being increased, the worsening of ecological environment has being controlled and some places have entered into proper ecological cycle. At the same time, we use the experience of other countries for reference on sustainable development, Especially in resent years, the various cooperative programs had been carried out, such as beef breeding, forage seed, cultivation technique and machines, joint venture farm, after the mutual visiting between Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Chinese delegation.

  CIDA primarily agreed to support the sustainable agriculture and demonstration program in Inner Mongolia in 1997 on the basis of specialist investigation. The high ranking delegation of Inner Mongolia government visited Canada in 1998. Ten officers and experts of Canada extensively investigated for a long time from 28 April to 20 May, 1999 in Hulunbaier grassland. Xilinguole grassland, the ecotone of cropping and grazing lands of Chifeng and Wulanchabu League, Yellow River irrigated areas, and science and technology garden of agriculture and animal husbandry. The leaders of Inner Mongolia government and relative officers had three times of informal discussions with Canadian officers. They reached an agreement on demonstration contents of sustainable agriculture development of grassland restoration and grassland protection,i.e. the demonstration sites should be distributed rationally in three regions of ecological economy types. I would like to introduce some relative situations and demonstration programs in grassland areas, ecotone of cropping and grazing and irrigation agriculture areas so that the leaders and experts know our consideration and practice on Inner Mongolia sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry.

  1. Taking the policy of grassland construction for Animal husbandry in grassland area

  Since reform and opening to the world in later 1970's, great progress had gotten on the development of anima, husbandry, Firstly, the local government contracted with every herdsman family for managing grassland and livestock, clearing and defining the right of ownership and utilization. Secondly, grassland laws,such as "Act on Grassland Management","act on Conservation of Essential Rangeland", "Detailed Rules and regulations on Grassland Management", were proclaimed in order to forbid reclamation, overgrazing and damage of rangeland. Thirdly, grassland construction plan was extended. The total constructed areas reached to 2160000ha and hay storage reached to 9.3×109kg, Fourthly, the sustainable animal husbandry strategy, "increases of forage and meat production, increases of quality and benefit",was decided in Inner Mongolia, The indices of animal husbandry production were made. which were increment value. total increasing income. The regime on balance of forage and livestock was carried out and the system of one mu artificial grassland and 0.1 mu irrigated feed cropland for one livestock would be established Fifthly,"breeding engineering" of livestock and forage has been implemented in order to breed new animal and food herbage varieties and to save natural resources. The purposes of demonstration programs for sustainable development in grassland area are:(1) developing artificial grassland depended on rain, water-saving irrigation, and semi-artificial grassland, irrigated feed patch;(2) improving livestock variety, introducing and extending beef and dairy cattle, meat sheep and fine wool sheep; (3)developing processing forage and feed,enhancing nutrient content in forage; (4) introducing advanced machinery and management techniques, establishing new production system of animal husbandry; (5) changing the mode of production through rotational grazing, non-grazing and limited grazing in some production stages, developing yard feeding and half yard feeding, and considering both ecological and economic benefits.

  2.Carrying out the strategy of coming back to forest and grassland from cropland that is not suitable for cropping, and developing animal husbandry in advance in the ecotone zone of cropping and grazing lands

  Mountain hill and winderoded sandy areas occupied the two third of the total land of Inner Mongolia. Most of those areas belong to ecotone zone of cropping and grazing lands, where the ecological problems are very conspicuous. The strategy of backing to forest and grassland from cropland that is not suitable for cropping, is the major method to protect land resources.rivers, and ecological environments. It is a basic plan to vigorously develop economy to improve farmers' life level and to promote the unite of nationalities. For example. countryside economy of Wulanchabu league once landed in the worsen cycle of cropping-sandy-poverty. Since 1994, Wulanchabu League had carried out the developing strategy of backing to forest and grassland from cropland that is not suitable for cropping. Several million mu of rain fed and low productive croplands were returned to planting shrub and forage. which not only promoted the development of animal husbandry but also kept the grain production stable and improved the natural landscapes. the demonstration programs of sustainable development should be done in the eco-tone of cropping and grazing lands, where the land ratio for crop, grass and forest should be designed according to nature conditions. the cultivation techniques should be improved, and the yard feeding and feedlot should be developed.

  3.Practicing combination of cropping and animal husbandry and developing ecoeconomic agriculture in irrigated cropping area

  Yellow River irrigation area and Songliao Plain are the important base of commodity grain,plant oil and sugar. Over reclamation, overuse of chemical fertilizer and long term flood irrigation brought about a series of ecological problems. The main works to carry out on sustainable demonstration programs are to develop intensive planting and feeding industry, to improve salinealkali lands and lower productive croplands, to extend watersaving irrigation techniques. Developing animal husbandry in cropland can use the abundant byproducts of grain to produce high quality food and produce large amount of organic fertilizer. The organic fertilizer is good for soil reclamation. This is the way of ecological agriculture to gain high yield and high benefit.Sustainable development is a complex systematic engineering in arid and semiarid steppe. which is considered in many ways. We are in the beginning for searching and reform. We urgently hope to get cooperation at home and abroad in order to push this work forward in the historical process of agricultural reform. Thanks for the conference that give me a chance to exchange the ideas, and thanks for Canadian International Development Agency for supporting and helping us on agriculture and animal husbandry. Inner Mongolia government will pay more attention to the Demonstration Program on Sustainable Development that was cooperated between China and Canada and support it wholeheartedly. Through investigation, several Canadian experts said that the ecological problems faced in Inner Mongolia are much similar to that in early century in Canada. We believe that the way of sustainable agriculture will be prospective if we introduce Canadian succeeded experience rationally.

  Thank you!


All right reserved:Secretariat of China for International Cooperation on Environment and Development

Address:5 Houyingfang Hutong,Xicheng District,Beijing 100035 P.R.China    zip code:100035