The Role of Information and Knowledge in Achieving Environmentally Sound Farming: A Chinese Case


Publication date



World Scientific Publishing

Document type


The paper analyzes the role of information–knowledge for making farming environmentally friendly, using eutrophication of the main drinking water reservoir of Tianjin, China as a case. The analysis considers information and instruction sources used by farmers in relation to their farming and environmental issues, in particular application of fertilizers, and on this basis it discusses governance and policy measures. The study is interdisciplinary, covering both natural and social sciences, and it is based on quantitative methodology, employing descriptive and multivariate statistical methods. The main findings are: (i) farmers make use of a broad range of information and instruction sources, thereby confirming the claim that eutrophication and hence good farming practices are a “wicked” problem; (ii) the young and the members of the Communist Party are more active than others in using a broad range of information and instruction sources; (iii) different categories of farmers give priority to different information and instruction sources, providing a basis for tailor-made disseminations; (iv) the majority of farmers report receiving clear instructions for using fertilizers, yet half of them conceive using fertilizers correctly as difficult; (v) receiving instructions from other farmers and suppliers cater for high scores on clear instructions; and (vi) farmers are best seen as muddling through different pressures from above and different knowledge bases, and not just willy-nilly responding to top-down policy instructions. Read More:




Permanent URL (for citation purposes)