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Overuse of Agricultural Chemicals on China’s Small Farms Harms Health, Environment & Bottom Lines

June 19, 2018 |

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“The size of farms in China is a key contributor to the overuse of agricultural chemicals, and as a result they may be too small to be environmentally sustainable, a new study has found. The research – conducted by a team from the Universities of Melbourne, Zhejiang, Fudan, Wuhan and Stanford – is published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study found  are often used inefficiently on small farms, leading to financial losses and serious local, regional and global pollution ranging from eutrophication (an excess of nutrients in bodies of water, often caused by run-off from the land) to particle pollution in the air and global warming.

University of Melbourne and Zhejiang researcher Baojing Gu said: “China is the world’s largest consumer of agricultural chemicals, using more than 30 per cent of global fertilisers and pesticides on only 9 per cent of the world’s crop land. “Our study sought to understand the reasons for overuse of agricultural chemicals, because addressing this is critical to the sustainable development of Chinese agriculture,” Dr. Gu said…”

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