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How Does Land Fragmentation Affect Agricultural Technical Efficiency? Based on Mediation Effects Analysis


  • Chunfang Zhou

    (School of Geography and Environmental Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China)

  • Yuluan Zhao

    (School of Geography and Environmental Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China)

  • Mingshun Long

    (School of Geography and Environmental Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China)

  • Xiubin Li

    (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)


The scientific revelation of the mechanism underlying land fragmentation’s influence on agricultural technical efficiency is extremely important. This study utilized survey data from 305 villages across 12 provinces in Southern China in 2020 to assess technical efficiency through the application of the stochastic frontier production function. Moreover, we investigated the direct impact of land fragmentation on technical efficiency and the indirect impact transmitted through crop diversification and part-time farming by employing Tobit and mediating effect models, respectively. The key findings are as follows: (1) The sampled farmers, on average, operated 0.614 hectares of land with 17.395 plots, and the mean of their technical efficiency was 0.630. (2) The overall effect of land fragmentation on technical efficiency demonstrated a “U”-shaped relationship. (3) Crop diversification and part-time farming were mediating factors in the impact of land fragmentation on technical efficiency. Specifically, an “inverted U”-shaped relationship existed between land fragmentation and crop diversification, whereas a negative linear relationship was observed between land fragmentation and part-time farming. Conversely, crop diversification presented a positive linear relationship with technical efficiency, and part-time farming had an “inverted U”-shaped relationship with technical efficiency. (4) The impact of land fragmentation on technical efficiency varied across altitude zones. It is recommended to control land fragmentation based on local conditions, encourage crop diversification, and strengthen employment guidance and skills training for farmers to ensure the orderly transfer of land.

Suggested Citation

  • Chunfang Zhou & Yuluan Zhao & Mingshun Long & Xiubin Li, 2024. "How Does Land Fragmentation Affect Agricultural Technical Efficiency? Based on Mediation Effects Analysis," Land, MDPI, vol. 13(3), pages 1-19, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:13:y:2024:i:3:p:284-:d:1345442

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    References listed on IDEAS

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