Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (2): 203-218.doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1263-6

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effectiveness of farmland transfer in alleviating farmland abandonment in mountain regions

Jing’an SHAO1,2(), Shichao ZHANG1,2, Xiubin LI3   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Tourism, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 400047, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Surface Process and Environment Remote Sensing in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, Chongqing 400047, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2015-06-18 Accepted:2015-07-20 Online:2016-02-25 Published:2016-02-25
  • About author:

    Author: Shao Jing’an (1976-), Professor, specialized in regional environment evolution and climate responses. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Funds for International Cooperation and Exchange of National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC- IIASA Project), No.41161140352;Humanity and Social Science Youth Foundation of Ministry of Education of China, No.10YJCZH122


Farmland abandonment is a type of land use change in the mountain region, and this change is under rapid development. Whether farmland transfer can prevent this process and promote the effective allocation of land resources or not is a question worth studying and discussion. With the help of the previous research findings, the objective of this paper was to find out the role of farmland transfer on preventing farmland abandonment, by using the methods of multiple view with two factors, and single factor correlation analysis. The results showed that: (1) At village level, a significant negative correlation between farmland transfer and farmland abandonment existed in the study site, with R2 = 0.7584. This correlation of farmland with high grade farming conditions presented more outstandingly. The fitted curve for the farmland at Level I had the largest R2 at 0.288, while that for the farmland at Level IV had the smallest R2 at 0.103. Which indicated that farmland transfer could prevent the abandonment of farmland with high grade farming conditions? (2) At plot level, the abandonment rate of farmland with high grade farming conditions was significantly lower than that of farmland with poor grade farming conditions. It was the lowest at 10.49% for the farmland with Level I farming conditions, whereas the farmland with Level I farming conditions was 26.21%. Abandoned farmland was mainly contributed by farmland with Level IV farming conditions in the study site. (3) At village level, the role of farming conditions on farmland abandonment was insignificant. The univariate correlation analysis revealed that the abandonment ratio was negatively correlated with the proportions of farmland at Levels I and II and their accumulated proportion; however, their R2 were small at 0.194, 0.258, and 0.275, respectively. The abandonment of farmland with high farming conditions still existed. The abandonment ratios of farmland at Levels I and II were high at 9.96% and 10.60%, respectively. This presented that farmland transfer on behalf of the land rental market was still not developed. (4) However, the village possessed the high rate of farmland transfer, and its rate of farmland abandonment with high grade farming conditions was all lower. When the transfer ratios of farmland were over 20%, the abandonment ratios of farmland at Levels I and II were 6.47% and 6.92%, respectively. Farmland abandonment was still controlled by the improvement of land rental market. And the functions of land rental market optimizing the utilization of farmland resources have been presented to a certain degree. (5) To further improve the marketing degree of land rental, the probability of farmland abandonment could be reduced. Especially, their function to farmland with high grade farming conditions was very obvious, and could avoid the waste of farmland resources with high grade farming conditions.

Key words: land rental market, farmland abandonment, farming conditions, farmland resource optimization, mountain region