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Impact of contract farming on income: Linking small farmers, packers, and supermarket in China

  • Miyata, Sachiko
  • Minot, Nicholas
  • Hu, Dinghuan

"Contract farming is seen by proponents as a way to raise small-farm income by delivering technology and market information to small farmers, incorporating them into remunerative new markets. Critics, however, see it as a strategy for agribusiness firms to pass production risk to farmers, taking advantage of an unequal bargaining relationship. There is also concern that contract farming will worsen rural income inequality by favoring larger farmers. This study examines these issues in Shandong Province, China, using survey data collected from 162 apple and green onion farmers and interviews with four contracting firms in 2005. Using a probit model to estimate participation in a contract-farming scheme, we find little evidence that contracting firms prefer to work with larger farmers, though all farms in the area are quite small. Furthermore, using a Heckman selection-correction model to control for possible selection bias, we find that contract farmers earn significantly more than independent farmers after controlling for household labor availability, education, farm size, and other characteristics. Finally, we find that the way contracting contributes to farm income varies between commodities: contract apple growers benefit from higher yields (presumably due to technical assistance), while contract green onion growers receive higher prices (presumably due to better quality). These results suggest that contract farming can help small farmers raise their incomes and gain access to the growing urban and export markets. Questions remain regarding the number of farmers that are, or could be, brought into similar contract arrangements." from Authors' Abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 742.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:742
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  1. Minot, Nicholas & Ngigi, Margaret, 2004. "Are horticultural exports a replicable success story?," MTID discussion papers 73, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Glover, David J., 1984. "Contract farming and smallholder outgrower schemes in less-developed countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(11-12), pages 1143-1157.
  3. Minot, Nicholas, 1986. "Contract Farming and Its Effect on Small Farmers in Less Developed Countries," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54740, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  4. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
  5. Minot, Nicholas & Ngigi, Margaret, 2004. "Are Kenya's horticultural exports a replicable success story?," 2020 vision briefs 12 No. 07, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Maertens, Miet, 2006. "Trade, Food Standards and Poverty: The Case of High-Value Vegetable Exports from Senegal," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25614, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Phil Simmons & Paul Winters & Ian Patrick, 2005. "An analysis of contract farming in East Java, Bali, and Lombok, Indonesia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(s3), pages 513-525, November.
  8. Porter, Gina & Phillips-Howard[malt], Kevin, 1997. "Comparing contracts: An evaluation of contract farming schemes in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 227-238, February.
  9. Shenggen Fan & Connie Chan-Kang, 2005. "Is small beautiful? Farm size, productivity, and poverty in Asian agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(s1), pages 135-146, 01.
  10. Singh, Sukhpal, 2002. "Contracting Out Solutions: Political Economy of Contract Farming in the Indian Punjab," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1621-1638, September.
  11. Warning, Matthew & Key, Nigel, 2002. "The Social Performance and Distributional Consequences of Contract Farming: An Equilibrium Analysis of the Arachide de Bouche Program in Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 255-263, February.
  12. Key, Nigel & Runsten, David, 1999. "Contract Farming, Smallholders, and Rural Development in Latin America: The Organization of Agroprocessing Firms and the Scale of Outgrower Production," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 381-401, February.
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