Agri-environmental schemes have become an effective policy measure to prompt farmers to protect rural farmland and landscapes. In recent years, 17 provincial governments including Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Guangxi and Guangdong have shown increasing interest in promoting local experimentation with agri-environmental schemes. Based on two waves of farmer survey data in Eastern, Middle and Western China conducted in 2012 and 2015, this paper conducts a comparative study of three agricultural environmental policy models: the farmland protection fund model in Chengdu city (the Chengdu model), the farmland eco-compensation model in Suzhou city (the Suzhou model), and the conventional farmland protection model in Wuhan (the Wuhan model). Our quantitative analyses show that: agri-environmental schemes in China have significantly enhanced farmer enthusiasm toward farmland protection and lifted their policy satisfaction. Yet, the improvement in farmer knowledge of farmland ecological functions is limited; different agri-environmental models have diverse policy effects. Overall, the Chengdu model characterized by a combination of pension insurance and agricultural insurance benefits works better than the Suzhou model. Farmer participation in rural farmland and landscape protection is affected by multiple factors, among which education is the most significant.
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Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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