skip to contents.

Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2007/2008 Research Topic: 1-03
Structural Reform of the Rural Economy and Change of the Agricultural System through Agro-industrialization Policy in Rural China

Outline

Owing to the emergence of excess grain production as a result of the protective policy and the low profitability of agricultural products in the late 1990s, the Chinese government has mitigated the protection of grain production and adopted a new agricultural policy, called the “Agro-industrialization Policy.” The major purpose of this policy is to induce agribusiness enterprises to integrate villages and farmers through contract farming and the accumulation of farming centers, and to construct agricultural conglomerates covering all areas from cultivation and processing to marketing. The establishment of agricultural conglomerates is expected to increase the profitability of agricultural products and to improve the economic standards of rural people.

However, it is extremely difficult for agribusiness companies to monitor cultivation by small scale farmers and adequately control the quality of farm products, since farmers are numerous and geographically dispersed. Thus, this type of integration tends to induce problems of “asymmetric information” and “unenforceability of contracts.” On the other hand, since the purposes and benefits are not necessarily the same between agribusiness enterprises and farmers, farmers are sometimes exposed to the risk that a contract will be abruptly breached or modified in favor of agribusiness enterprises.

In order to reduce conflicts and improve the balance of benefit and risk between agribusiness enterprises and farmers, great number of intermediary organization such as agricultural cooperatives have been founded by large farmers and local governments in recent years. Along with the deepening of agro-industrial policy and the emergence of new intermediary organizations, the management of agricultural production and the economic structures of rural China have been greatly changed.

In this context, this research project focuses on two subjects. First, we summarize the changes in rural China from the viewpoint of fiscal affairs, finance, farmland and labor by reviewing the major polices and their impacts on rural area. Second, we conduct questionnaire survey on agribusiness enterprises and new agricultural cooperatives to investigate the actual relationship among agribusiness enterprises, local governments and farmers and evaluate the significance of agro-industrial policy in rural China.

Organizer

IKEGAMI Akihide (Associate Professor, School of Agriculture, Meiji University)

Members of the Research Project

IKEGAMI Akihide (Associate Professor, School of Agriculture, Meiji University)
HOKEN Hisatoshi
WATANABE Mariko
YAMAGUCHI Mami
SUGANUMA Keisuke (Professor, Fukushima University)
TAHARA Fumiki (Associate Professor, University of Tokyo)

Publications