Use of Human Excreta as Manure in Rural China uri icon

abstract

  • Empirical research has shown that the use of manure significantly improves crop yield, soil fertility and water and moisture conservation. Despite these documented benefits, however, there is a concern on the downward trend of manure use in agriculture in China. This paper examines factors contributing to this downward trend, with a particular focus on human excreta used in agriculture. Empirical analysis based on data from stratified random sampling of rural households in five provinces of China shows that about 85% of human excreta was still used as manure in agriculture in 2007 which was less than a decade ago when nearly all human excreta was used as manure. Econometric results suggest that income growth, rising population density and improvement in rural transportation significantly contribute to declining use of human excreta as manure in agriculture. These results imply that the current downward trend will continue given China's rising economic growth, urbanization and rural infrastructural improvement.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014