Millions of Chinese farmers reap benefits of huge crop experiment
Decade-long study involving 21 million smallholders shows how evidence-based approaches could improve food security.
A landmark project to make agriculture more sustainable in China has significantly cut fertilizer use while boosting crop yields on millions of small farms across the country, researchers report in Nature1.
As part of a decade-long study, scientists analysed vast amounts of agricultural data to develop improved practices, which they then passed on to smallholders. Through a national campaign, about 20.9 million farmers adopted the recommendations, which increased productivity and reduced environmental impacts. As a result of the intervention, farmers were together US$12.2 billion better off.