At China's table: food security options, Volume 113 by Albert Nyberg, World Bank

By Albert Nyberg, World Bank

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Responsibility for the policy functions should go to an appropriately budgeted government entity, knowing that it will incur losses. Government grain enterprises and input suppliers must operate under the same constraints, efficiency incentives, and commercial standards as the nonstate enterprises. Monopoly and monopsony privileges and subsidies currently enjoyed by the state grain bureaus must be discontinued. Countryside procurement restrictions on nonstate enterprises must be relaxed. And enterprises not commercially viable must be allowed to go bankrupt.

7a. Source: World Bank staff estimates. essentially wastedpossibly contributing to environmental pollution. The underapplication of potash diminished the efficiency of nitrogen and phosphate uptake, and crop production was lower than it would have been with balanced fertilizer application. This analysis is consistent with a recent study of nutrient input and output on farms by the China National Rice Research Institute. In the short run nutrients are applied only to the extent that there is an economic yield response since some nutrient uptake is provided by soil nutrient reserves.

13 The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences has identified four causes of fertilizer's declining effectiveness: unbalanced and underapplication of nutrients, especially underuse of potash; poor quality of fertilizers; poor application methods; and poor distribution. Unbalanced supply and use of nutrients Even though the importance of proper nutrient balance is well known, and generalized ratios of 100:50:25 (nitrogen, phosphate, potash) have been recommended for several years, China's application ratios in 1995 were 100:47:16.

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