An Emergy and Decomposition Assessment of China's Crop Production: Sustainability and Driving Forces

Zuoxi Liu, Yongyang Wang, Shanshan Wang, Huijuan Dong, Yong Geng, Bing Xue, Jiaming Gu, Run Li, Tianhua Yang
2018 Sustainability  
With a growing demand for crop products in China, a great deal of local resources and industrial inputs are consumed including agricultural machineries, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and energies, which results in many environmental issues such as resource depletion, water pollution, soil erosion and contamination, and CO2 emissions. Thus, this study evaluated the trend of sustainability of China's crop production from 1997 to 2016 in terms of emergy and further explored the driving forces
more » ... the driving forces using decomposition analysis methods. The results showed that the total emergy used (U) increased by 50% from 7.82 × 1023 in 1997 to 1.17 × 1024 solar emergy Joule (sej) in 2016. Meanwhile, the values of the emergy sustainability index (ESI) were all smaller than one with a declining trend year by year, indicating that China's crop production system is undergoing an unsustainable development pattern. From the results of the ESI decomposition, the renewable resource factor (R/GDP) and land use factor (L/A) are two key factors impeding the sustainable development of the crop production system. Therefore, the increased capacity of renewable resources and enough labor forces engaged in crop production will be the key strategies for its sustainable development.
doi:10.3390/su10113938 fatcat:nqhq3rbhczaifgnw7bet62ybla