, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 661–672 | Cite as

Managing Manure from China’s Pigs and Poultry: The Influence of Ecological Rationality

  • Chaohui Zheng
  • Bettina Bluemling
  • Yi Liu
  • Arthur P. J. Mol
  • Jining Chen


We have investigated manure management practices at three farm scales in Chinese pig and poultry production. The concept of ecological rationality was employed to explore empirically how environmental concerns drive adoption of environmental-friendly manure management technologies at different farm scales. The more developed Rudong County in Jiangsu Province and the less developed Zhongjiang County in Sichuan Province were chosen as cases for study of 258 animal breeders. On the contrary to our hypothesis, medium-scale farmers were not always found to be laggards in adoption of manure management technologies. Government ecological rationality played a key role to induce environmental-friendly technology adoption on its own, but also in cooperation with ecologically rational individual or network drivers. Authorities no longer applied their efforts in a conventional command-and-control way, but more in the form of incentives, stimulation, and information to farmers. Individual farmers in general showed low environmental responsibility in relation to manure handling.


Manure management practices Pig farmers Poultry farmers Nutrient emission 



This research was carried out with the support of the research project SURE (SUstainable Natural REsource Use in Rural China,, which is funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Grant 08-PSA-E-02, as well as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), Grant 2009BAC62B01. The authors also thank for Dai Weiwei from Rudong County, Deyang Environmental Protection Bureau, and Zhongjiang County Environmental Protection Bureau for the support on farm household interviews and data collection. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 61 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chaohui Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bettina Bluemling
    • 1
  • Yi Liu
    • 2
  • Arthur P. J. Mol
    • 1
  • Jining Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Policy GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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