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North East Asia agricultural cooperation
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Much of the agricultural produce of northeast China is exported to developed countries of the region. After entering the WTO, farmers in northeast China must meet strict standards for chemical residues on agricultural products in international trade. This might slow the growth in exports of agricultural produce. Excess chemical fertilizer use increases product cost and decreases net income of farmland by 10 percent to 30 percent.

This is already an issue in the case of exports from Jilin to Japan . Japan 's government adopted stricter standards for residual chemicals (insecticides, metals) in imported produce from May 2006. While the old standards related to 130 types of products and 9,000 substances, new stricter standards would regulate 135 types of products and 19,000 substances. Most agricultural producers currently exporting to Japan would not be able to meet the new requirements. The adjustment period will take approximately three years and positive results cannot be guaranteed because of residual soil and water contamination from the previous use of agricultural chemicals. One solution would be to shift the cultivation of produce destined for Japan to developing Chinese agricultural enclaves in Primorsky or other Russian provinces where soils are less contaminated. The produce from northeast China that does not meet Japanese standards could then be exported to Russia and other countries that lack such strict regulations.

A second example of cooperation in agriculture comes from the Heilongjiang Agriculture Institute, which is involved in a wide ranging cooperative programs with a variety of Russian partners. Part of this program is to transfer new Chinese agricultural technologies and crop varieties to Russia. Another component of this plan is the implementation of Russian innovations in China. Since 1992 the Institute has distributed a growth stimulator for soy bean that was invented at the Russian Institute of Soya Crops. The application of this growth stimulator already yielded economic benefits totaling $19 million in China.

The underlying reason for agricultural cooperation is the relative scarcity of land for agriculture in Northeast Asia. Most such lands are located in the Amur-Heilong basin.

Chinese village after harvesting corn (Photo by E.Simonov)


Also look:

Land-use trends:

General trends in land-use

Recent changes in land-use in three countries



Amur Agriculture

Agricultural development in Northeast China

Agricultural development in Eastern Mongolia

Russian agriculture

Russian agricultural land and production in RFE-tables

Environmental impacts of argiculture

Land degradation and desertification

Conversion of wildlands to farmland



Timber harvest in the Russian Far East

Salmon vs forestry

Major human-induced impacts on forest ecosystems of RFE (table)

Timber trade


Other land-use issues:


Nature tourism in the Amur/Heilong River Basin

Transport infrastructure impacts

Oil & gas Basin

Oil & gas impacts

Russian mining

Mongolian mining

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