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Chinese Agricultural Natural Risks and Real Background of Uncertainty(软科学国际会议论文)

Chinese Agricultural Natural Risks and Real Background of Uncertainty1

Wang Jian[2]

 

[Abstract]  The agriculture is a typical risk industry.  The agricultural risk can be summed up two big kinds roughly.  One involves the agricultural production process, which is called the natural risk; the other mainly refers to agricultural management process, which is called the market risk.  To the entire agricultural development, other environmental factors or the exogenous factors of agricultural, like political system, law, policy and social factor and so on, possibly has profound influence to the agricultural development.  However, this article supposes that our research central on agricultural natural risk system is in using specific historical data to analyzing environmental disasters.  Those include waterlogged, drought, hailstorm, winterkilling, typhoon, and as well as plant disease and insect, grass evil, rodents harm.  Under background of uncertainty, through some kind of statistics analysis, in a macro-aspect we discussed the origin of agricultural production risks.  Maybe we possible find some rules to fight with huge natural disasters, there are four kind main disasters waterlogged, drought, hailstorm, and rat damage after the analysis that need to pay close attention in agricultural realm currently.

Keywords:  Risk identification; Natural disaster; Disaster formed rate; Disaster deduction rate; Tendency

1 Diversified natural disasters of Chinese Agriculture

Agricultural production is first dominated by natural condition, environmental variation and zoology and botany growth developmental mechanism.  These thunderbolts or the random events from the nature possibly make the agricultural production have economic loss that called the agricultural natural risks.  Natural disaster's risk is essentially refers to natural damage magnitude, time and uncertainty or their probability distributions.

The natural disaster and the accidents are the main origins of creating the agricultural natural hazards.  When a certain factors change or the thunderbolt occurs in the natural environment may bring to the agricultural harm.  The natural environment usually refers to the non-human created material geography space.  The natural matters, which are the sunlight, the air, the water, the soil, the wild animals and plants and so on, are the natural materials and non-artificial creations.  They are the fundamental factors of constituting natural environment.  What the agricultural producer first relies on is natural environment condition.  Natural resources and the environment conditions is also material base of whether a national agricultural production has superiority.

The natural disaster is also vital reason for Chinese agricultural resource is wasted and the ecological environment is destroyed.  Although the nation is abundant in natural resources, but the problem of soil erosion and destroying environment is very serious.  At present, national soil erosion area is 3.67´106 square kilometers, occupying 38.2of the land area.  These including every year the water erosion, lose the soil approximately 5´109 tons, nutrients and nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium were washed away approximately a hundred million tons, as well as the wind erosion and the desertification influence.  Only the fertility loss gives in every year more than seven bullions Yuan, the question is very serious.

China is one of natural disaster most serious countries in the world.  The types and the area of disasters are diversified and broad with higher proportion to be formed at final.  Its main natural disaster factors over 40 kinds, mainly have the flooding, the rainstorm, the hail, the drought, the gale, the spring cold wave, the low temperature in May, the winter coldly wind and freezing, the plant disease and insect pest, the landslide, the mud-rock flow, the cracks of earth, the avalanche, the typhoon and tsunami and so on.  According to the related historical data records [1], from 206 B.C. to 1949, China had occurred big flood 1029 times, drought 1056 times.  From 1949 to 1988, there were five floods which formed disaster area over 6 million hectares, drought six times which formed disaster area 12 million hectares above.  In 1961, continual great drought formed disaster area 18.68 million hectares.  In the 1990s, big flood disasters happened 4 times, that disaster formed area was over 12 million hectares, and in 1991 was 14.61 million hectares, in 1998 was 13.79 million hectares, in 2003 was 12.29 million hectares, and the historic biggest flood disaster formed was 16.17 million hectares in 2007.  Moreover, general big drought and the waterlogged disaster yearly occurs alternately, most years drought area was bigger than the waterlogged, in the specific year big area drought and waterlogged disaster possible occurrence simultaneously.  By natural disaster's influences national grain loss to approximately in average 5of yearly grain gross output, the agricultural yearly average disaster rate reaches as high as 14.5.  Main agricultural natural disasters and the loss situation of China have been shown in Table 1 since 1990s.

Table 1 Main natural disasters occurred and final formed in China since 1990 (Unit: Million hectares)

Year

Typhoon Disaster

Wind and hail Disaster

Freezing Disaster

Drought Disaster

Flood Disaster

occurring

formed

occurring

formed

occurring

formed

occurring

formed

occurring

formed

1990

 

 

6.35

3.42

2.14

0.99

18.18

7.81

11.80

5.61

1991

 

 

4.25

2.02

1.71

0.62

24.91

10.56

24.60

14.61

1992

 

 

5.23

2.32

3.71

2.06

32.98

17.05

9.42

4.46

1993

 

 

6.63

3.64

4.72

2.23

21.10

8.66

16.39

8.61

1994

1.58

0.78

3.79

2.14

1.92

0.67

30.45

17.05

17.33

10.74

1995

1.30

0.37

4.48

2.08

3.58

1.79

23.46

10.40

12.73

2.63

1996

2.24

0.97

4.15

2.12

2.05

0.90

20.15

6.25

18.15

10.86

1997

1.72

0.68

4.49

2.95

2.29

0.83

33.51

20.25

11.41

5.84

1998

0.21

0.10

4.74

3.13

8.67

3.10

14.24

5.06

22.29

13.79

1999

0.59

0.32

3.59

2.04

6.63

2.69

30.16

16.61

9.02

5.07

2000

1.72

1.08

2.28

1.14

2.80

1.03

40.54

26.78

7.32

4.32

2001

1.10

0.64

3.63

2.06

2.97

1.78

38.47

23.70

6.04

3.61

2002

0.85

0.47

7.48

3.83

4.21

2.29

22.21

13.25

12.38

7.47

2003

1.17

0.72

4.79

2.93

4.48

2.11

24.85

14.47

19.21

12.29

2004

0.69

0.21

5.80

2.19

3.71

1.67

17.25

8.48

7.31

3.75

2005

4.45

1.97

2.98

2.30

4.43

1.84

16.03

8.48

10.93

6.05

2006

2.95

1.67

4.39

2.14

4.91

2.84

20.74

13.41

8.00

4.57

2007

2.09

0.86

2.99

1.42

4.07

1.51

10.46

5.11

29.39

16.17

Average

1.62

0.77

4.56

2.44

3.83

1.72

24.43

12.97

14.10

7.80

Note: Data source "Chinese Agriculture Yearbook" Chinese Agricultural Publishing house (1991-2006).  Calculated and updated according to http://www.gjj.cc/NongLin/Zhong/zzys.agri.gov.htm by author in Feb. 2008.

2 Trends analysis on natural disasters

In the 21 century, recently years the natural disasters have tended in increasing.  From Table 1 it shows the natural calamities in China since 1990s, that it seems the natural environment becoming worsened year by year.  Based on above data we can give an initial analysis on the natural disaster’s risk, which will bring us a general understanding for the problems and find some tendencies or rules.

2.1 The natural disaster occurred is in increasing

The natural disaster is inevitable with uncertainty, in agriculture over 35 years, an average occurring disaster area is nearly 46 million hectares in the national level, but the disaster finally formed which is nearly 22 million hectares annually in average.  The average disaster finally formed in China is lower than half of the disaster occurred.  This data refers to the five kind main agricultural natural disasters, such as waterlogged, drought, hailstorm, winterkilling, and typhoon.  Therefore, other agricultural natural damages have not been included, for instance plant disease and insect, grass evil, rodents harm, etc.


Fig. 1 The five kinds of main agricultural natural disasters yearly occurred area

From the figure 1*, we easy to find among the natural disasters drought occurred area is bigger than flood occurred.  However, in recently years the drought area is tending to reduce a little, the flood and freezing areas are tended in increasing.  Typhoon has been a new-recorded natural disaster in statistics of China since 1994, but its influence to Chinese agriculture being increased.

To use some kind’s disaster occurred area subtracts its formed area we can measure the level of disaster deduction.  Seeing from a macro level, preventing and resisting natural disaster is an important economic achievement, which may use disaster deduction area to express.  So that, defined F(Do, t) to express each kind of disasters collected variation following each years (t), shows in Figure 1, the unit is disaster occurred area of million hectares.  Then we can see the effect variation in dynamic to deduct and to prevent the natural disasters.  Suppose, use DF(D, t)=F(Do, t)-F(Df, t) to express this measured effect in area, thus we can define a ratio of natural disaster deduction by RD=DF(D, t)/F(Do, t)=1-F(Df, t)/F(Do, t).  Here F(Do, t) expresses annual disaster occurred area, F(Df, t) expresses annual disaster final formed area, and assume there is always existed F(Do,t)≥F(Df,t)>0.  So that, we can name RF=F(Df, t)/F(Do, t) as a rate of the disaster formed, and both RD+RF=1, 1≥RD≥0, 1≥RF≥0.

Drought Occurred and Formed

0.00

5.00

10.00

15.00

20.00

25.00

30.00

35.00

40.00

45.00

1971

1973

1975

1977

1979

1981

1983

1985

1987

1989

1991

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

Years

DO

DF

DOT

DFT

文本框: Area MHs
Fig. 2 The variation of drought had occurred and formed area since 1970s

After 2003, drought occurred and finally formed disaster area has being slope down.  In figure 2 the curve DO shows drought occurring area yearly change, DOT shows its tendency of variation.  DF represents drought formed area and the curve DFT is the tendency of drought formed.

Flood Occurred and Formed Disaster

0.00

5.00

10.00

15.00

20.00

25.00

30.00

35.00

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

FO

FF

FOT

FFT

文本框: Disaster area MHs
Recently years, flood is tending to go up, and in some significance, waterlogged disaster is a current big risk to China’s agriculture.  Hydraulic construction has made great contribution both in fighting with drought and in preventing big flood.  Its aim at to reduce drought occurred and formed area, and to control the flood disaster formation.  Figure 3 shows the tendency of flood variation, the curves FO and FF represent flood occurred and formed area, and FOT, FFT are respectively shown their tendencies.

Fig. 3 The case of flood occurred and formed in past 18 years

As a natural disaster in recently years, typhoon is an increasing tendency especially in the coastal region of south China.  Its occurred area is over freezing formed in average, but it is more difficult to prevent than freezing damage.  18 years of records on typhoon show us that it is a very dangers natural disaster to agriculture.  In figure 4, typhoon disaster entering 21 century has quickly increased.  The curves TO, TF represent each year typhoon disaster occurred and formed area, and the related curves TFT, TOT can help us to understand their tendencies.

 

 

 

 

 

Otherwise, that natural disaster come from hailstorm and winterkilling is also tended to increase in recently years.  The annual wind and hail occurred is 4.6 million hectare and the freezing occurred is 3.8 million hectare in average.  In 2005, 2006 and 2007, the disaster of freezing occurred area was over 4 million hectares that an obvious tendency is increasing.  However, those two kind disasters formed area is relatively lower than the disasters occurred in average.  That means the disaster formed area slopes down evident the disaster deduction ability enhancing.

2.2 The prevention and fight with natural calamity need to be enforced

Natural disaster is an absolute exogenous factor.  In fact, the natural environmental deterioration and absent ecologic protection are serious problem at present.  In theory, risk is always in positive relation with expected utility or expected revenue of people.  Therefore, higher exaction from nature should return with higher risk.  In another side, risk is usually in reciprocal with information that is experience and knowledge.  The ecological civilized knowledge is a set of this kind of information.  It usually includes that people how to prevent or to fight with natural calamities.  The ability or effects of people prevent and fight with natural disaster becomes a contemporary social function.  With the statistic data, we can give an initial analysis for the cases of natural disaster deduction and prevention.

Fig. 5 A theoretical explanations on the effect to fight and prevent natural disaster

Area

%

t

t

0

0

F(D0, t)

F(Df, t)

Rd

RF

50

100


Following peoples experience collection and a national capacity improving in knowledge and infrastructure to treat with natural disaster, a theoretical tendency of DF(D,t) should be a form of trumpet.  At the same time, the rate of disaster deduction (RD) should tend to a positive slope while the rate of disaster formed (RF) should be a negative slope in long run tendency.  We can show those in figure 3.5, but the explanation to combine with practice may be very complex, because of there possible is the reason of social economy, disaster scale, politics or history.  For example, during the era of Cultural Revolution we loosed the data of several years.  Therefore, we certainly hope to find some better analyzing technologies, and to analyze the problem by data statistics.  In fact, the natural disaster occurred is brimming uncertainty, the idea rule is difficult to find. 

0.00

10.00

20.00

30.00

40.00

50.00

60.00

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

SDO

SDF

SDOT

SDFT

Total area of disaster occurred and final formed

文本框: Area: MHs
We sum up the five kinds of natural disasters occurred and formed areas, which the data started from the year of 1994.  The figure 6 illustrates that in recently years the total disaster occurred area (SDO) has a tendency (SDOT) of go up, and the total disaster formed area (SDF) has a tendency (SDFT) of go down.

Flood

0

20

40

60

80

100

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

%

RFFL

RDFL

RDFLT

RFFLT

Freezing

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

%

RDFR

RFFR

RDFRT

RFFRT

Drought

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

%

RDD

RFD

RDDT

RFDT

Wind & Hail

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

%

RDWH

RFWH

RDWHT

RFWHT

Typhoon

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

%

RDTP

RFTP

RDTPT

RFTPT

Fig. 7 Agricultural disasters data and the tendencies of disaster deduction rate and formed rate


Fig.6 Total natural disaster occurred and formed area and their tendencies

To compare the figures 234, we can make more detail illustration.  About the drought disaster we find it is a special case, that both drought disaster occurred and formed areas have been the tendencies of go down.  After 1990s, the figure 2 shows an inverse trumpet, only from the data aspect to make logical analysis it seems to indicate that hydraulic construction has made the disaster occurred area reduced, but the weakened irrigation systems did not effect to fight with big drought.  From figure 3 shows that both flood occurred and formed are in increasing, however, it is a trumpet shape.  This case like typhoon occurred and formed trumpet shape in figure 4, that illustrates the effects to fight blood and typhoon are clearly improved these years.  The rates of disaster deduction and formed can help us to understand the consequences better.  As a complementary, we have drawn the RD and RF curves in figure 7, and given the data of other natural disasters occurred and prevented areas in unite million hectares.  From figure 7 we can find, there are existed two appearances of general tendency and periodic variation for different disasters.  Typhoon deduction rate is increasing, and its formed rate is go down which has been appearance a periodic variation.  Wind and hail through a long period disaster occurred rate larger than its deduction rate, now the deduction rate tends to increase.  In China, fight with freezing effect shows better, and the rate of formed disaster is general lower than its deduction rate in long run.  Especially the current years a trumpet form is appeared.  Drought is a big problem to puzzle Chinese agricultural development, since the end of 1990s its deduction rate has been go down and its disaster formed rate tended to go up, it is a periodic variation.  Recent years the case is being changed, a countermeasure should be enforcing the irrigation system construction.  Blood is a heavy disaster in China, and the deduction rate is tended to go down for nearly ten years, recent years it is improving.  However, its disaster formed rate is general larger than its deduction rate.


Beside above five kind’s main natural disasters, plant diseases and insects, grass evil and rat damages are also considered.  Here we use the comparison between the disaster occurred area and prevented area.  We find that plant disease and insects has been over prevented since 1992, the prevented area keeps larger than the disaster occurred area [3].  The case is more obvious that for the grass evil occurred and prevented is a trumpet form.  The problem since long run is on rat damage that the prevented area is far from it has occurred area, it needs us to give a more attention.

Fig. 8 The case of plant disease, grass evil and rat damage occurred and prevented

On the stability of agricultural production, except natural disaster influences and the human factors also influences ecological environment.  In natural environment, between non-biotic and the biotic factors, the non-biotic factors as well as the biotic factors themselves are used mutually contact, constraint or depends on each others, by these intriguing factors constituted inalienable complex synthetically system, which is called the natural ecosystem[5].  Because ecosystem factor constitutions, if there were some factors or certain factors have changed, other factors will have a series of chain-reactions, thus will cause the natural environment changes.  The entire natural ecosystem has come now under humanity's serious influence, beside the atmosphere greenhouse effect made the earth climate warming the agricultural production to its ecological environmental influences and the destruction looked that is also very serious.  At present, our country air pollution farmland amounts to 5.333 million hectares, the three wastes pollution farmland amounts to 10 million hectares, the agricultural use chemical pollution farmland amounts to 9.07 million hectares, the agricultural use water quality drops, the pollution which creates also to amount to 3.3 million hectares, totally above approximately 27.7 million hectares.

3. Conclusion and Suggestion

The agriculture is the foundation of the national economy, and it is a living weak industry with risk.  Especially it is closed related with natural reproduction and social economic reproduction.  Studying of stability problem of agricultural system, first we should inspect the risk and the uncertainty in the agricultural development.  Only recognizing risks, we can against them.  Risk identification need to seek for the risk initial source and embark from the agricultural natural disasters and the uncertainty realistic background, taking the system science and theory of the agricultural economic management as the instrument.  To prevent and fight with natural disaster need huge energy and material, but it usual is passive.  In some significant, learn to deal with or utilize natural disaster is also important.  The evolution of human society may toward “make harm to become benefit”.  To fight with flood and drought has long history in China.  Chinese people to fight with natural calamities during the past 50 years have made great achievement and the data and the deduction rate shows the situation each year, such as to deal with typhoon, freezing, plant disease and insect, grass evil, etc.  Through the analysis we find that waterlogged, drought, hailstorm, and rat damage are four important natural disasters, which need us to enforce countermeasures.

To face with natural disaster, a cover work is plan ahead for disasters [2].  To understand the real cases, and to find possible rules, we need news and information as prerequisite for risk management study.  Insurance only part of solution, connect to technology progress and enforcing infrastructure construction, to make reasonable decision on the investment and budget will be optimal choice to deal with different natural disasters.  Therefore, to build up a macro agricultural risk management system will be very necessary.  Disasters study may include disaster forecasting, disaster preventing, disaster deduction, disaster relief, and disaster management.  Because natural disaster occurring is usually inevitable, by means of modern technology people trying to give a forecasting, as we known that information is the first necessary condition.  To prevent disaster except prerequisite information, an ample condition is the social infrastructure.  Therefore, improve the ability to fight natural calamities should be enforcing risk management and better utilizing above two conditions.  Without information, the disaster risk prevention will become difficult, which it will be a game in the existence of uncertainty.  Weaken infrastructure could not fight to huge natural disaster, and to deduct the bigger damage.  The management of disaster risk has taken an important part in disaster deduction, relief, transferring and dispersing, which is a powerful social function by means of a national economic system or perfect market. 

 

 

References:

1. Chu Guozhu, C. F. Framingham, “Agricultural InsuranceTheory, Experience and Problems” [C], Chinese Agricultural Publishing House, 1995.2,2.

2. “The Leading Edge” [EB/OL].  www.LeadingEdgeAlliance.com. VOLUME 6. ISSUE 3. SPRING 2006.

3. "Chinese Agriculture Yearbook" [M].  Chinese Agricultural Publishing house, 1991-2006.

4. Natural Disasters in Australia---Reforming mitigation, relief and recovery arrangements:[N/OL] A report to the Council of Australian Governments by a high level officials’ group August 2002.  www.ema.gov.au/agd/EMA/rwpattach.nsf.

5. Wang Jian “Agricultural Production and Operation Risk Management Theory and Methods” [M], Chinese Education Culture Publishing House, Dec. 2005.

 



[1] This Study Based on the Soft Scientific Program in Hebei Province (No: 01457224D, 2001-2003): “Study on Agricultural Production and Operation Risk Management Theory and Methods”, AUH Program (2003-2005); ②(No. 07457201D-6) Study on the strategy of Counties Regional Economic Development and Cities and Towns Construction in Hebei Province.

[2] Author:M.,1958.10-,Prof. & Ph.D at Economics and Trade College, Agricultural University Of Hebei, Baoding, PRC, 071000; Tel: 0312-7528631, Emai: wangjian@hebau.edu.cn

* Data source: "Chinese Agriculture Yearbook" Chinese Agricultural Publishing house, 1991-2006.  Calculated and updated according to http://www.gjj.cc/NongLin/Zhong/zzys.agri.gov.htm by author.

Typhoon Occurred and Formed Disaster

0.00

0.50

1.00

1.50

2.00

2.50

3.00

3.50

4.00

4.50

5.00

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Years

TO

TF

TFT

TOT

文本框: Area MHs

 

 


Fig. 4 The situation of typhoon occurred and formed in recently years
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