JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 12-14.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20160134

• Theoretical Discussion • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Arable Land Requirements Related Food Consumption Pattern—A Case Study in Lhasa, Xigaze and Shannan Region of Rural Tibet

GAO Li-wei1,2, XU Zeng-rang1, CHENG Sheng-kui1, XU Shi-wei2, ZHANG Xian-zhou1, YU Cheng-qun1, SUN Wei1, WU Jun-xi1, QU Yun-he1, MA Jie3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Agricultrual Information Institute, CAAS, Beijing 100081, China;
    3. Hebei University of Engineering, Handan 056038, China
  • Received:2016-02-14 Online:2017-01-15 Published:2017-01-15
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 71233007 and 41571496; The Strategy Leading Science & Technology Special Program From the Chinese Academy of Sciences (B), No. XDB03030000; Tibetan Scientific-Technology Major Project, No. Z2016C01G01/04; China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No, 2016M601195.


The development of planting forage grass is one of the important ways to alleviate the grass-livestock conflict and entironment problem in rural Tibet. The diversity of food consumption pattern and the increase of food imported from inland areas reliefed Tibet from the pressure of food production, and provided advantage for local planting forage grass. Based on household survey data, market research data and statistical data, with the improved conceptual model of the relationship between food consumption and arable land requirement from Gerbens-Leenes et al. (2002), the potentials of sparing arable land for planting forage grass were analyzed systematically in Lhasa, Xigaze and Shannan respectively (the YLN region in rural Tibet). The analysis results of food consumption structure related to arable land requirement showed that there was a low arable land requirement of farmer diet structure in rural Tibet, which indicated the huge potential for sparing land for forage. The arable land requirement per household of Lhasa, Xigaze and Shannan was 5 542.3, 7 400.1 and 5 521.7 m2 in 2010, respectively, and the potential for forage was 4 777.5, 2 977.3 and 2 054.4 m2, respectively, which accounted for 46.3%, 28.7% and 27.1% of arable land possessed per household in Lhasa, Xigaze and Shannan, respectively. However, considering the rapid growth of population and the adverse factors of fragile ecological environment to the agricultural production in rural Tibet, the government should differentially carry out structural adjustment of agriculture and animal husbandry step by step based on the situation of agricultural production and the development level of animal husbandry of different regions in the YLN region of Tibet (Lhasa, Xigaze and Shannan), increase the enthusiasm of farmers for planting forage grass with subsidies and other incentives, establish and improve the forage grass market for forage resources allocation, alleviate local contradiction between grass and livestock, and raise income of forage grass planting in rural Tibetan.

Key words: arable land requirement, Lhasa, Xigaze, Shannan, Tibet, food consumption

CLC Number: 

  • F426.82