PROMOTING AREAL SPECIALIZATION OF AGRICULTURETHROUGH DEVELOPING AREAL PREDOMINANCE
1981, 36 (4):
In the field of agriculture, physical reproduction and economic reproduction crosseach other intricately. Thus, agriculture must fundamentally adapt to tiie local condi-tions, which should be properly recognized as including not only the physical, but thesocial and economic conditions as well. In a country of vast territory like China, arealdifferentiation of local conditions is so evident that it would never be exaggeration toemphasize the importance of adaptation.On the march towards modernization, Chinese agriculture will have to undergo aperiod of strategic transferring. The adjustment applies both to the allocation and thestructure of agriculture.The guiding principles like: "reclaim those land suitable for agriculture, afforestthose suitable for forestry, and grazing those suitable for animal husbandry", and eeo-nomic crops should be"properly concentrated in distribution", etc.. are just in generalterms and cause much trouble in implementation. Here, the terms "suitable" and "pro-perly concentrated" should be defined precisely by means of a series of quantitative andqualitative criteria.Ever since ancient times, food crop has been the mainstay of Chinese agriculture.About 80% of rural labour, cultivated land and sown area are devoted to food crop cultiva-tion. However ,the dogmatic demand of self-sufficiency in food supply for everywhereis impracticable in many parts of the country, such as the loess plateau and the dryfarming areas of Inner Mongolia. A proper ratio between the acreage of food cropsand economic crops and the critical limit of treple cropping (double cropping of riceplus winter wheat or rapeseeds) index in southern China are needed to be thoughtfully decided.The new guiding principle of "developing the areal predominance through promot-ing the favorable and dodging the unfavorable conditions" attracted much attentionfrom the agricultural and academic circles. The author suggests that in order to realizethe principle’s true meaning, the following view points are helpful. (l’i Areal predo-minance is a comprehensive idea, and it can only be developed under the conditions thatare physically suitable, technically practicable and economically profitable,i(’2)i In theregional system of the country, any region is not isolated, but is linked together with oneanother, just like a single piece on the chessboard. The right order of developing arealpredominance should put national first, provincial nest, and local still next. (3) Asconditions of any region are subject to change, the development of areal predominanceshould be considered with long-term sense. (4) Comparative plans for developing arealpredominance are preferred, so as to select the mostninst rational and profitable one throughteehno-economic appraisal.Through the process of developing areal predominance, areal specialization of agri-culture will gradually take shape. Chinese agriculture, on the basis of petty-peasanteconomy, asked local self-sufficiency for every thing in the past, deterred areal speciali-zation of production. There only flourished .sericulture in the deltas of the Yangtze andthe Pearl River, due to the need for de luxe clothing in the feudal times. Cotton andtobacco plantings were encouraged in the vicinities of Shanghai. Tsingtao and Hankowthrough the investment of foreign manufacturers in the semi-feudal and semi-colonialdays. It was only after liberation, new bases of commercial grains, cotton, sugar beetand tropical crops were established by the state farms in the interior and border regionsThe areal specialization of agiculture that China is going to promote is not those ofmono-cropping systems of the colonial or semi-colonial nations, but is the rational divi-sion of labour among regions under the guichnce of planning economy. It is expectedthat the potential of agricultural production will be brought into full play through theproceeding of areal specialization.
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