Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer applications have greatly contributed to the increased food production in China during the last decades, but have also contributed to increasing N and P losses to environment. In my study, a novel ‘food chain’ approach and the NUFER (NUtrient flows in Food chains, Environment and Resources use) model were developed for the quantified assessment.
The results indicated that between 1980 and 2005, N and P use efficiency decreased in crop production, increased in the animal production and decreased in the food chain. However, N and P losses to water and atmosphere increased dramatically. There were significant regional differences. Scenario analyses indicated that combination integrated nutrient management and diet change is the most effective management options for decreasing N and P losses and increasing N and P use efficiency. Application of the NUFER model can help policy makers in China to plan food chains.