Are dragon-head companies heading agricultural development in China? The case of apple chains.

The purpose of this paper to empirically document the role and impact of agri-business development in the case of apple chains in China, and to investigate the role that the provision of services and marketing plays in this impact. We compare some performance indicators, including yields and profits between farmers belonging to chains with and without dragon-head companies, i.e. companies which invested in various infrastructures, and provide services to farmers including extension services, storage and input provisioning. The data is based on a survey of 355 apple farmers in Shandong and Shaanxi provinces. Dragon-head companies have no significant impact on the yield and profit obtained by farmers, in contrast with belonging to a cooperative. They do not have a significant impact on training relative to cooperatives. They do not propose higher prices for farmers, even though farmers’ practices may be more eco-friendly and reduce the use of chemical pesticides. The conclusion is that the optimal conditions for agri-business development to be conducive to economic development as shown by the literature do not seem to be gathered in the apple sector of China.

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 Record created 2018-08-17, last modified 2020-10-28

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