Survey data on livelihoods and inputs and outputs of crop production activities in Quzhou county on the North China Plain

Published: 21 November 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/jp3v9859cx.1
Zhan Xu, Fan Li, Jiali Cheng, Zhengyuan Liang, Jeroen Groot, Chaochun Zhang, Wopke van der Werf


Crop production faces a dilemma regarding sustainability in the North China Plain. On the one hand, productivity and profitability should be at least maintained to secure national food self-sufficiency. On the other hand, there is a need to mitigate the negative externalities of agriculture, such as groundwater depletion, eutrophication of surface water, greenhouse gas emissions due to high fertilizer use, and pesticide contamination of soil and water. The objective of collecting this data is to provide an overview of crop production activities and livelihoods on the North China Plain and to generate data-based evidence that can help design cropping systems and optimize management practices. The database provides quantitative data on the village, farm household, and crop scale in Quzhou county, which lies in the middle part of North China Plain, one of the Agricultural Green Development focus areas—the village data file source from the yearbook of 2017 and village cadres survey of 2018. The village dataset includes village structure, crop pattern within a village, and crop production-related resources of all the villages in Quzhou county. Those data are used to do the village typology analysis to allow us to target the effort of household survey across the main agricultural village types in Quzhou to ensure the representativeness of the sample and avoid important village types being underrepresented or time being spent on survey in villages with no or marginal agricultural activity. The result of village typology is also included in the village dataset. The data of the farm household dataset and crop dataset is from the household survey in 2020, which covers 525 questionnaires across 35 villages belonging to seven village types (five for each type). The farm household dataset provides farm-level data, including demographic data of farming decision-makers and their household members, land use and machinery resources, crop production management practices, and government subsidies. The crop dataset provides input-output inventories for each crop grown during one year on each field greater than 1/30th ha within a year.


Steps to reproduce

In the first step, we grouped all 342 villages in Quzhou in eight clusters based on similar crop production and socio-economic characteristics according to yearbook data and village cadres survey data. A random sample of five villages was selected from seven village types, excluding one semi-urban village type without crop production. We surveyed fifteen households per village, including smallholder farms and business farms. There were up to two business farms per village, and all business farms in a village were included. Twenty-one villages did not have business farms. A random selection was made from the remaining smallholder farms to obtain a sample of fifteen farms per village. A structured questionnaire was administered to all households. In this survey, we collected information on the farming households and agricultural practices on all plots greater than 0.5 mu (1/30th ha) on a farm. Perennial crops and greenhouse crops were excluded from the survey.


China Agricultural University




China Scholarship Council