Climate change has imposed significant challenges on global dryland systems. In this dissertation, Inner Mongolia, a typical dryland system in the world's largest developing county, China, was selected as an example to study the relationships between rural agricultural production/income generation, climate factors and adaptive activities in the dryland system.
Two respective multiple regression models on grain and livestock production were built with secondary panel data in Inner Mongolia from 2000 to 2008. The research results indicate that temperature and precipitation changes, technical assistance, agricultural diversification and highway density had significant impacts on local agricultural production, though the significance level and direction of the impacts of these variables differed between grain production and livestock production. For adaptation strategies, while the grain production sector might have to act against both the higher temperature and decreased precipitation, the livestock production sector could mainly focus on adapting to the drier weather. But adaptive activities such as irrigation infrastructure building, adoption of water saving technologies, and improvement of technical personnel would serve both the sectors well through increased adaptive capacity.
A multinomial logistic regression model on rural household income was also built with primary survey data collected in 2010 in Xilin Gol, a typical rural setting in Inner Mongolia. The research results also indicated that land degradation hurt the poorest household groups most and that conservation programs benefited the same groups the most significantly with respect to household income. In addition, diversification of income sources contribute significantly to the income increase of the poorest and middle-level income level households, market access contribute significantly to the income increase of all but the highest two income level households, and high-value agriculture significantly contributed to income increase for the farmer households. Therefore, land conservation programs, high-value agriculture, diversification of income sources, and market access should be given top priorities in policy making in order to increase rural income.
- Gan, Jianbang Professor