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Do fragmented landholdings have higher production costs? Evidence from rice farmers in Northeastern Jiangxi province, P.R. China

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Author Info

  • Tan, Shuhao
  • Heerink, Nico
  • Kruseman, Gideon
  • Qu, Futian

Abstract

Land fragmentation is generally seen as an obstacle to agricultural productivity improvements, but it can also facilitate labor smoothing and risk diversification. In this paper we examine the impact of land fragmentation on the variable production costs of rice farmers in three villages in Jiangxi Province, P.R. China. We find that changes in the number of plots and plot size distribution, as measured by the Simpson index, do not affect total production costs per unit output, but cause a shift between cost categories. Farmers with more and smaller plots tend to use more labor and fewer modern technologies as compared to farmers with fewer and larger plots. Other aspects of land fragmentation, however, do affect total production costs. A reduction of the average distance to plots and an increase in farm size decrease the total production costs per ton. We conclude that land consolidation programs can only contribute to the joint policy goals of increasing agricultural production capacity and reducing the rural labor surplus, if such programs are accompanied by measures aimed at creating alternative market opportunities and at providing appropriate off-farm employment opportunities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 347-358

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:19:y:2008:i:3:p:347-358

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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  1. Tom Kompas, 2004. "Market reform, productivity and efficiency in Vietnamese rice production," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec04-4, International and Development Economics.
  2. Kuiper, Marijke & van Tongeren, Frank, 2005. "Growing together or growing apart ? a village level study of the impact of the Doha Round on rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3696, The World Bank.
  3. Heston, Alan & Kumar, Dharma, 1983. "The persistence of land fragmentation in peasant agriculture: An analysis of South Asian cases," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 199-220, April.
  4. Blarel, Benoit, et al, 1992. "The Economics of Farm Fragmentation: Evidence from Ghana and Rwanda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 233-54, May.
  5. Wu, Ziping & Liu, Minquan & Davis, John, 2005. "Land consolidation and productivity in Chinese household crop production," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 28-49.
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  7. Huffman, Wallace E., 1991. "Agricultural Household Models: Survey and Critique," Staff General Research Papers 11008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Guang Wan & Enjiang Cheng, 2001. "Effects of land fragmentation and returns to scale in the Chinese farming sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 183-194.
  9. Nguyen, Tin & Cheng, Enjiang & Findlay, Christopher, 1996. "Land fragmentation and farm productivity in China in the 1990s," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 169-180.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wen-Ge Fu & Sizhong Sun & Zhang-Yue Zhou, 2011. "Technical efficiency of food processing in China: the case of flour and rice processing," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 321-334, September.
  2. Jia, Lili, 2012. "Land fragmentation and off-farm labor supply in China," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, LeibĀ­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 66, number 66.
  3. Chen, Zhuo & Huffman, Wallace E. & Rozelle, Scott, 2009. "Farm technology and technical efficiency: Evidence from four regions in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 153-161, June.
  4. Jia, Lili & Petrick, Martin, 2011. "How land fragmentation affects off-farm labor supply in China: Evidence from household panel data," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 114522, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  5. Rakhshanda, Kousar & Awudu, Abdulai, 2013. "Impacts of rural non-farm employment on household welfare in Pakistan," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149890, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
  6. Wang, Xiaobing & Yu, Xiaohua, 2011. "Scale Effects, Technical Efficiency and Land Lease in China," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115736, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Monchuk, Daniel C. & Deininger, Klaus W. & Nagarajan, Hari K., 2010. "Does Land Fragmentation Reduce Efficiency: Micro Evidence from India," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61652, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Deininger, Klaus & Savastano, Sara & Carletto, Calogero, 2012. "Land Fragmentation, Cropland Abandonment, and Land Market Operation in Albania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2108-2122.
  9. Feng, Shuyi & Heerink, Nico & Ruben, Ruerd & Qu, Futian, 2010. "Land rental market, off-farm employment and agricultural production in Southeast China: A plot-level case study," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 598-606, December.
  10. Kawasaki, Kentaro, 2010. "The costs and benefits of land fragmentation of rice farms in Japan," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), December.

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