Title: Nitrogen use and the integration of environmental concerns into production

Authors: Qiuzhen Chen; Stefan Bäckman; John Sumelius

Addresses: Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: The study identifies markets, technologies and policies that influence fertiliser nitrogen (N) use in agriculture by Finland and China. Specifically the study examines how policy measures influence N usage in Finland and compares these with the corresponding policies in China. It was found that greater food security in China is a major driver for its high nitrogen usage. Food security in China is aimed for by manipulating price-ratios of inputs and outputs through direct and indirect subsidies on fertilisers. The dissimilar policy goals and measures between Finland and China explain the differences in N application rates nationally, regionally and over time. The study suggests that the effectiveness of agri-environmental payments and the efficiency of manure use in Finland could be improved, and that reducing N application rates could be a key step for China and would be achieved by market mechanisms determining price-ratios of input to output.

Keywords: agricultural fertilisers; nitrogen rate; economically optimal; constraint levels; policy intervention; price ratio; fertiliser subsidies; cultivation structure; panel data; Finland; China; nitrogen use; environmental concerns; agriculture; food security; policy goals; agri-environmental payments; manure use; market mechanisms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2016.074679

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2016 Vol.12 No.1, pp.53 - 76

Available online: 11 Feb 2016 *

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