Policy support and emerging farmer professional cooperatives in rural China
Most farms in China are small and vulnerable to the forces of powerful markets. Recognizing the challenges of small farming, China has promoted farmer professional cooperatives (FPCs) during the past two decades. The overall goal of this study is to analyze the emergence and current status of FPCs, the nature of recent policy initiatives and the role of government policies that have played in promoting recent trends. Based on a unique panel data from two rounds of national representative surveys of 380 villages in 2003 and 2009, this paper shows that while there was nearly no FPC in late 1990s, there were FPCs in 21% of China's villages and these FPCs provided services to about 24Â million farm households in 2008. The determinants of FPC analysis show that the role of the government is of primary importance. Policy support measures and, most likely, the new legal setting in China after the passage of the 2006 FPC law, account for most of the growth of FPCs.
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