GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (4): 856-868.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180315

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Typical models of land consolidation for poverty alleviation

Yuzhu ZANG1,2(), Yansui LIU1,2(), Yuanyuan YANG1,2, Yongsheng WANG1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-04-03 Revised:2018-07-18 Online:2019-04-20 Published:2019-04-20


Poverty is an obstacle for rural revitalization and development. As the largest developing country in the world, China has been struggling against poverty for decades and has achieved a great success. Land consolidation is regarded as an indispensable path to poverty alleviation in rural China, where residents are suffering from agriculture recession such as fragmentation of arable land, soil impoverishment, and infrastructure damage, etc. According to the path in promoting poverty alleviation, land consolidation can be categorized as four typical models. Firstly, the key of land consolidation is to increase the amount of arable land and improve the conditions of agricultural production. And land consolidation is generally composed of exploiting uncultivated land, levelling uneven land, merging scattered land as well as constructing irrigation and drainage facilities. Then poor peasants can obtain concentrated and contiguous farmland equipped with improved infrastructures and roads, which makes contribution to agriculture mechanization and large-scale operation. This kind of project is categorized as "Elementary Land Consolidation Model". In addition, impoverished people usually live in mountainous areas or remote valleys, featured by inconvenient transportation and fragile ecology. Therefore, it is important to resettle these people and restore the fragile eco-environment so that peasants can enjoy livable residential space, convenient production space and sustainable ecological space. Considering the multifunction of land consolidation for optimizing rural production, living and ecological spaces, this kind of project is named "Reconstruction of Three Spaces Model". Although there is sufficient land space for construction in rural areas, cities are short of construction land for further expansion. Accordingly, a new scheme was innovated that peasants can reclaim rural settlements to increase arable land, and urban departments can buy these quotas to obtain more construction land. In this way, rural departments acquire additional capital for poverty alleviation and economic development. This new project is named "Mobilizing Land Assets Model" as it can turn rural land into actual property and bring revenues to farmers. Furthermore, rural areas also face another obstacle on the way to prosperity except for capital, that is the enormous labor flow from rural areas into cities. A large quantity of farmland has been abandoned due to the lack of adequate labors, resulting in agriculture decline and rural poverty. To resolve these rural issues, farmers are encouraged to transfer their land use rights to rural collective economic organization with identifying them as stockholders. Then the transferred land is leased to professional enterprises or farmers which will bring profits to local farmers. During this process, land plays a role of stock capital, so this project is named "Land Capitalization Model". In general, land consolidation integrated with land rights transaction conduces to agriculture modernization and rural revitalization. Nonetheless, there are still some problems during land consolidation which need to be addressed, including the single financing channels, the absence of supporting system and the lack of advanced planning. The governments are supposed to take measures to promote land consolidation in poor rural areas, such as expanding financing channels, establishing perfect supporting system, and enhancing advanced planning.

Key words: land consolidation, land engineering, poverty alleviation, rural revitalization, rural sustainability