Newsletter of World Sustainable Agriculture Association
China Beijing Agricultural University Branch
1.To Develop Green Food listed in China's Agenda 21
2.Weed Management in sustainable agriculture of China--
Problems and research achievements
a. International symposium on biodiversity for sustainable
Agriculture will be hold in Beijing in September
b. Seminar on eco-farming construction
c. BAU Branch cooperates with CGFDC
d. Methyl bromide research project under discussion
e. CGFDC leader wins environmental award
a. A breif Introduction to China Green Food Development
b. The Green Food label
c. Research & Development Center for Sustainable
Agriculture in Nanjing
5.Trip investigating low input agriculture in China under planning
To Develop Green Food listed in China's Agenda 21
By:Chinese Green Food Development Center
As one of the important plans of action, to development the
contamination-free, safe and nutritious Green Food has been
listed in China's Agenda 21 which was laid down and carried out
by the Chinese government recently.
China's Agenda 21, approved by the Chinese government, is a
guiding document for China making its mid-term and long-term
plans for national economy and social development, and it will
also be represented specifically as the major goal and content of
China's Ninth Five-year Plan and the Plan Until the Year 2010.
According to China's "Agenda 21", environmental pollution and
the degradation of ecosystem have become the critical global
issues, threatening the future existence and development of
human beings. As a result, the Chinese government's aim is to
build a production system of low energy consumption, high
efficiency and little or no pollution. In terms of the sustainable
development of agriculture, by means of a series of measures,
including to develop Green Food with earnest efforts, to build
food production bases at all levels, to set up efficient food safety
warning systems, to limit the use of pesticide and the plastic film
with high residue, to encourage the use of farm manure, to
promote the environmental quality and to ensure food safety so
as to achieve the goal of sustainable use of natural agricultural
resources and to protect the agro-ecological environment.
Weed Management in sustainable agriculture of China--
Problems and research achievements
By Chen WenFang & You ZhenGuo
Associate Prof. of Agronomy,
Beijing Aricultural University
Bounded by traditional idea of weeds, most farmers in China
regard weeds as harmful organism and hope to eradicate them
as soon as they emerge. Even in Northeast China, Heilongjiang
Province, a relatively agriculture mechanized region in China,
about 1/3 of the whole year's farm time is spent on weed control.
Frequent tillage and misuse or continuous use of highly selective
herbicides often result in environmental problems, the loss of top
soil, phytotoxicity to crops, and resistant weed population, etc.
Soybeans, maize, groundnut, wheat and upland-rice are five
most important crops in China. However, they are seriously
damaged by weeds. The damaged area of the first four crops are
80%, 85%, 76% and 85% of their total planting area respectively.
Due to the lack of research of the eco-economics of field weeds,
such cases as misuse and low benefits chemical weed control
are common in most area of China. It is reported that more than
660 ha maize and wheat have been damaged because of
misuse of MCPA and metsulfuron in Hebei Province since 1991
and about 6660 ha of rice was damaged by the residue of
ethametsulfuron applied in oil rape and resulted in a yield
reduction of 10 million Yuan in Anhui and Jiangsu Province in
In order to overcome the blind use and misuse of herbicides and
its resulted problems, Beijing agricultural university and other 7
agricultural research institutes have started a collaborative
research on weed management strategy for 10 years and now
have gotten some important achievements in weed management
in sustainable agriculture of China. Some of them are as follows:
1. A term of "Eco-economic Period Threshold for Weed Control"
was proposed and field experiments were conducted in Beijing
region to study the functional relationship between crop yield and
the relative weedy and weedfree days. Models for calculating the
eco-economic period threshold for weed control in soybeans,
maize, groundnut, wheat and upland-rice were developed.
Results calculated by using these models showed that the eco-
economic control threshold period for weeds control in soybeans
was 12.4-31.0% days of the total crop growth season after
emergence, 12.5-35.0% days in maize, 16.0-43.0% days in
groundnut, and 15.0-30.0% days in dry-rice. These are the
critical periods to avoid all of the weed damage, to save weed
control cost and to maximally utilize the role of weed growth in
reducing soil erosion, the loss of light interception and the soil
nutrients. When the weed density was below these thresholds,
weed control was not required.
2. A computer-aid chemical weed control expert system WCES
was developed to meet the needs of the high-efficiency and
sustainable agricultural development and to help weed scientists
and farmers to make a strategic eco-economic chemical weed
control decision. The program has following functions: Inputting
and modifying the data in database; Inquiring for companion
weed species and applicable herbicides according to a crop
name, companion crops, applicable herbicides and weed latin
name according to a common weed name, weed control
spectrum, applicable crop, producer as well as its other names
according to a herbicide name; Making a strategic chemical
weed control decision with or without consideration of the eco-
economic control density and period threshold of weeds;
Identification of weed name; and trial design and variance
analysis for experiments with various factors as well as
establishing mathematical models with various variables by
means of simulation.
3. Experiments were conducted to study the allelopathic effect of
wheat on Imperata cylindrica. Bioassay results showed that the
soil and the supernatants separated by 3520 Resin from
aqueous extracts of wheat glumes, and the subfraction No.1,3
and 7 separated by using Silical gel from the supernatants were
all very toxic to I. cylindrica. The extraction and fraction results
indicated that allelopathy of wheat to I. cylindrica is a complex
effect by more than one allelochemical. The test results in tap,
greenhouse and field showed that the methanol eluates from
aqueous extracts of wheat would be hopeful to be a bioherbicide
for controlling I. cylindrica. Another kind of allelochemicals
secreted by one group of Streptomyces viridochromogens, which
also had highly herbicidal efficacy, was separated successfully in
4. Experiments were conducted in phytotron to study the effect of
harnyardgrass on nitrogen fixation of soybeans under various
soil moisture and shading degree. The results showed that under
normal water supply condition, barnyardgrass increased
soybean nitrogen fixation when the ratio of the weed plant height
x weight(RPHW) to that of soybean is below 0.72 and decreased
soybean nitrogen fixation when its RPHW is higher than that of
soybean. Under flooding condition, barnyardgrass increased the
rate of nitrogen fixation, while in dry condition, it inhibited it.
The principle of weed management "using their benefits and
avoiding their disadvantages" pointed out from the point of view
of eco-economics as well as the achievements above have been
and will be put into practice as guidelines for rational herbicides
application and reasonable weed management in sustainable
agriculture of China.
International Symposium on Biodiversity For Sustainable
Agriculture will be hold in Beijing in September
The issue of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystem and landscape
toward a sustainable future will be addressed on the symposium
form Sept.19 to 26,1995.
The symposium is organized by the cooperative Research Team
of an EEC supported project on environmental impact of
agricultural intensification in high-populated subtropical China.
Main topics include: Role of biodiversity in sustainable
agriculture, bioindicators, micro livestock application in farming
system and future perspectives.
For more information please contact:
Department of Agronomy
Beijing Agricultural University.
c/o WSAA BAU Branch
Department of Biology,
Padova University, Italy
Seminar on Eco-Farming Construction
By:Zhang Tong, Agro-Environmental Protection Institute, MOA
The 1st National Eco-Farming Counties Construction Seminar
which was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture(MOA), was
held in the Agro-Environmental Protection Institute of MOA in
Tianjing during Dec.23-27. Delegates from 50 Eco-Farming
Experimental Counties exchanged their relevant experiences in
the construction of ecological farming and took several lectures
made by famous experts from the field of agro-ecology,
agronomy, environmental sciences and systems engineering.
As the first training activities since the establishment of the
National Program of erecting 50 Eco-Farming Counties, this
seminar was paid great attention by both the leaders of the MOA
and local governments of these experimental counties. Many
valuable experiences from different kinds of areas were
summarized and the attendants' understanding to Eco-Farming
was obviously improved.
BAU Branch Cooperates with CGFDC
Chinese Green Food Development Center is a semi-
governmental organization with the mission to develop the
production and marketing of Green Food (similar to organic food
or natural food).
The WSAA BAU Branch hosted the visit of Mr.Liang ZhiChao,
Director of International Cooperation of CGFDC . The WSAA
BAU Branch member, Prof.Han ChunRu, Associate Prof.Shen
DeZhong and Wu WengLiang presented in the meeting. The two
sides agreed that a more close connection should be make
between two organizes.
The attendants extensively aired their ideas about the common
interests and the prospective of cooperation. Prof.Han pointed
out that the CGFDC's goals are highly compatible with the
WSAA, and the development of Green Food, especially the
marketing of it is a valuable approach to solve the conciliation
between the ecological and economic goals in the extensive
practice of Chinese Ecological Agriculture, the sustainable
agriculture with Chinese characters.
The short-run cooperation is that the WSAA BAU Branch will
assist the preparation of intended visit of two CGFDC
delegations to the U.S.A. and Japan. There many experiences
and excellent examples of natural food or organic food
production in this two countries, Mr.Liang said that the visit will
be valuable to Chinese green food development. The WSAA
BAU Branch will also offer its helps in getting some effective
access to international scientific database for CGFDC.
In the long-run, it was approved that the two organization will
cooperate in education and professional training in Green Food
production, the BAU scientists should be more involved in the
project of CGFDC, such as the research on green food
production techniques and the chemical residues in the foods.
Methyl Bromide research project under discussion
A proposed research project: Investigation of Methyl Bromide's
Application, Production, and Marketing in the People's Republic
of China is discussed between the Methyl Bromide Global
Coalition and a Chinese research group headed by Prof.Cheng
Xu, Director of WSAA BAU Branch. The research will not only
investigated the present of methyl bromide application, but will
also give an estimate of the future need of methyl bromide in
China. This will be very valuable to the guide the reduced usage
of this compound in the future, so as to alleviate its adverse
effect of Ozone layer.
CGDFC Leader Wins Environmental Award
Due to its excellent performance in the field of agro-
environmental protection and in developing and producing Green
Food products, Mr.Liu Lianfu, Chairman of CGFDC was
rewarded the gold prize of the first "Chain Green Science &
Technology Awards" in Dec.18,1994.
"China Green Science & Technology Awards" is China's highest
level Non-Governmental awards in the field of environment,
which has been set up to further promote people's
conscientiousness of environmental protection and to contribute
to the sustainable development of the society. With its main
theme of "Saving the earth environment with the wisdom of
human beings", the awards emphasizes the unity of social,
economical and environmental benefits, as well as the
industrialization of scientific achievements. The establishment of
the Awards is a response to the substance of the World
Environmental Development Conference and is an active
reflection of China's Agenda 21.
A Brief Introduction To China Green Food Development
The world today is confronted with the serious problem of
excessive consumption of natural resources, environmental
pollution and ecocide, which are threatening the existence and
development of human beings. It is therefor an international
trend to find a way in which economy, society, environment and
natural resources will develop harmoniously and sustainablly. In
line with the international trend of sustainable development
strategy, China Green Food Engineering was set up by the
Chinese Government in the year of 1990.
With support form the Chinese Government, CGFDC was
officially established in 1992. The goal of CGFDC is to:
* produce and develop contamination-free, safe, nutritious
high quality food, Green Food, based on assimilation of
modern science and technology and tradition Chinese
* promote, through the development of Green Food, the
harmonious development between the rural society,
economy and environment so as to upgrade the Agricultural
modernization in China on a sustainable basis.
* raise farmers income level through the development of
Green Food and provide a food sanitation and safety
guarantee system for the continuous improvement on the
well-being and the general level of health of the people.
The main responsibility of CGFDC is to:
* set up development policy, program and standards for the
development of China Green Food.
* implement the certification of Green Food.
* construct green Food production basis, Green food
marketing networks and environmental monitoring and
* arrange relating economical and technical exchange and
cooperation with organizations worldwide on organic
agriculture, nature farming and sustainable agriculture, as
well as with other international organizations.
* coordinate the operation of Green Food marketing networks,
as well as food and environment monitoring and testing
After five years development, there have been set up by CGFDC
a strict examination and certification procedure for Green Food,
Standards for Green Food, and a product quality scientific
control and guarantee system, which strictly guarantees Green
food product quality in all aspects of the whole production
process including ecological environment, raw material
production, processing, storage, transportation, monitoring and
testing, as well as marketing.
Up till now, CGFDC Branch centers have been set up in 28
provinces in China with some 300 membership organizations.
The major and priority projects of CGFDC for the near future will
include the development of the production and supply system for
Green Food production means(such as organic fertilizer), the
training and information service system, the scientific research
and extension system, Green Food marketing system.
Thanks to the support from the Chinese government and
recognition and acceptance by consumers, China Green Food
Engineering is developing rapidly and expansively.
The Green Food Label
This label is issued by CGFDC to identify the Green Food
products which is under CGFDC's control and meet its standard.
The sun, plant leaves and bud, is a round shape which means
protection. The whole design shows the vitality of the natural
world under the bright sunshine, symbolizing that Green Food
come from pure and sound ecological conditions and brings
vitality for all human beings. The "Green food Label" also
reminds people of protecting environment and creating new
harmony in the natural world by improving the relationship
between man and environment.
Research & Development Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Nanjing Agricultural University(NAU) is located in the Yangtse
Delta, east China, where the most intensive agriculture existed in
the country. The rural economy in this area is highly developed,
its rural industry, and the unit agricultural input and output of the
land, the incomes of the farmers are more than other parts of the
nation, thus it is facing the great challenges of future
development and agricultural sustainability.
The Research & Development Center for Sustainable
Agriculture(RDCSA) in NAU is inaugurated in October,1994, just
followed the inauguration of WSAA BAU Branch. The mission of
RDCSA is to aid the national and local agricultural policy makers,
to provide suitable techniques to the farmers, to raise the inter-
disciplinary research projects in the University and to exchange
information with the national and international colleagues. The
center consist of agricultural economists, plant protection
specialties, soil chemists and agronomists of NAU. Their present
research topics are: sustainable agriculture strategy, integrated
management of regional agricultural resources and the suitable
sustainable farming techniques.
We are pleased to see that there is a developing relationship
between the WSAA BAU Branch and the RDCSA. The two
organizations share the mutual interests to make agriculture
more sustainable, their different research emphasis and regional
characters provide great prospect of cooperation.
Trip investigating low input agriculture in China under
The 5000-year history of Chinese traditional agriculture is
amazing. Using the internal inputs within the ago-system, it
maintain its productivity and fed the increasing population.
Affronted by the problems induced by high-input agriculture, this
achievement become more fascinating to the agriculturists today.
Recently, an American Soil Scientist Dr. Laura Lengnick plans to
lead an USDA delegation of agriculturists from the United States
on a visit around the theme of low input agriculture in China. In
the planning stage, Dr.Lengnick consult with Prof.Cheng Xu, the
Director of WSAA BAU Branch about which is the most important
issue of Chinese sustainable agriculture.
The urgent issues of China's sustainable agriculture, Prof.Cheng
Xu aired, can be classified into two or three categories, i.e.,
1. raising efficiency of agro-chemicals in economically developed
areas such as coastal areas and suburban areas of big
municipalities, as well as the control of ever-increasing degree of
pollution caused by numerous township & village run enterprises
( TVE ) which are densely located in these areas;
2. alleviation of poverty in most mountainous areas (note that
hilly and mountainous areas cover at least 65% the total territory
of China), because as long as the farmers in these areas are still
at a status of subsistence farming, they can't help themselves
from indiscriminately felling trees and desperately exploring
marginal land even if with very acute slope, thus inducing severe
3. restoration of already ruined ecosystem in ecologically fragile
areas such as the inter-cross belts of agricultural and pastoral
area. The overgrazing and over-exploration problems are still in
very terrible situation.
Prof.Cheng Xu also suggested an tough-scheduled itinerary for
the planed visit which maybe valuable to our readers who might
like to take a similar investigation trip in China in future. The
itinerary is as follows:
1. Three days in Beijing, where visitors will meet some scholars
involved in sustainable agriculture, so that you could get a
overview of the situation. And they will also visit one or two
villages which have made big progress in substituting manure for
chemical fertilizer, and in bio-gas innovation.
2. Two days for Nanpi County, Hebei Province, which is a typical
place of aquifer depletion area of North China, and visitors could
see how Chinese scientists there to tackle the problem.
3. Three days devoted to Qianjiang County, Hubei province,
which is located in middle reaches of Yangtze River Valley. This
place belong to so-called "commodity grain/cotton production
base", and using a lot of physical input so as to get higher yield.
Visitors might meet some scientists working at there who are
searching ways of keeping bio-diversity.
4. Visitors could then take a ship downstream to Jiujiang, and
across the Yangtze River to Southwest Mountainous Area of
Anhui Province. In one or two counties they will personally
experience the poverty-stricken life and know the reasons why
do people there wreck their own environment. It might cost 4
5. Finally, visitors arrive Wuxi County, the richest one within
2000 odd China's total counties. They could spend last two days
visiting villages and peasant's families, and see very advanced
TVE and highly intensified agriculture, and get more
understanding of what a dilemma situation Chinese farmers have
to face: at one hand they have to try best to produce more to
feed ever-increasing population and demand for food & fiber etc.,
at another hand the resources and environment issues they
never recognized before must be taken into more account.
6. Visitors can get one day relaxing in Shanghai where they
could view fast growing economy and go shopping. You will
leave for home via Shanghai International Airport.
The two-week itinerary sound quite fruitful. The investigation of
Chinese low input agriculture which Prof.Cheng Prefer to use the
term 'Chinese Ecological Agriculture' (CEA) will surely be
valuable to solve the problems of conventional agriculture in the
rest areas of the world.
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| This quarterly Newsletter is published by: |
| World Sustainable Agriculture Association China (Beijing |
| Agricultural University) Branch |
| Correspondent and Editor: |
| Mr.Ming Fang, WSAA BAU Branch |
| Address: |
| WSAA BAU BRANCH |
| Beijing Agricultural University |
| Beijing 100094, |
| People's Republic of China |
| Fax/Tel No: 86(10) 2584005 |
| Email: email@example.com |