Study on Crop Phosphorus Footprints and Their Implications in China Based on Economic, Environmental and Healthy Viewpoints

Posted: 22 Jul 2019

See all articles by Yang Zhao

Yang Zhao

China Agricultural University

Date Written: July 20, 2019

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is virtual for food production, and thus studies on agricultural P flows have been one of hotspots at present, especially for P footprint (PF). However, present studies only focused on the environmental point, not including the economic development and human health. Thus, the environmental-economic-healthy nexus analysis on PFs should gain more attentions. Thus, in order to bridge these gaps, we established P footprints for different crops with the environmental-economic-healthy nexus, including production phosphorus footprint (PPF), economic phosphorus footprint (EPF) and healthy phosphorus footprint (HPF). These three types presented totally different trends for different crops; and economic crops had high PPFs as well as high HPFs, but have low EPFs due to its high economic incomes. The total crop P inputs was about 8.34 Mt, more than half from vegetable and fruits due to their very high PPFs. Besides, high PPFs and low PUEs resulted in huge P demands for crop production in China. Turing to more P-intensive food, human food P consumption increased from 0.97 kgP per capita in 2006 to 1.08 kgP per capita in 2013, and 72% of this increase came from more vegetable, fruit and pork consumption. These food shifts could also lead to more P inputs as well as more serious environmental problems. According to suggested healthy dietary with less livestock products, half of human food P demands would be saved at present, and it could be more in future. Thus, increasing PUE, decreasing PPFs and shifting to healthier dietary could be beneficial for both nature and human; besides, ecological compensation would be implemented in future for achieving sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Yang, Study on Crop Phosphorus Footprints and Their Implications in China Based on Economic, Environmental and Healthy Viewpoints (July 20, 2019). Abstract Proceedings of 2019 International Conference on Resource Sustainability - Cities (icRS Cities). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423209

Yang Zhao (Contact Author)

China Agricultural University ( email )

Beijing
China

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