School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
Renmin University of China
The CPC central committee paid high attention to fostering and developing large-scale subjects of management like family farms and specialized farmers’ cooperatives. The third Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee held in 2008 made it clear that large-scale subjects of management like large-scale specialized farmers, family farms and specialized farmers，cooperatives would be developed wherever conditions permit.
Family farm is a new subject of agricultural management engaged in large-scale, intensified and commoditized agricultural production and operation, with family members as the main workforce and the agricultural income as the main source of family’s income.
Family farm results from the transfer of rural labor force and the constant development of division of labor and business in agricultural production. It gives play to the unique advantage of household management of agricultural production and overcomes the disadvantage of small-scale and decentralized management. As an effective form of organization for large-scale and intensified agricultural management, it represents a new direction of the development of modern agriculture and has a vigorous vitality.
In recent years, in regions with high-level transfer of rural labor force, including Ningbo in Zhejiang, Songjiang in Shanghai，Wuhan in Hubei, Yanbian in Jilin and Langxi in Anhui, cultivation of family farms characterized by intensified, specialized, mechanized and large-scale management has begun under the principle of “definite standards, examination and identification, policy support” and obvious effects have been made.
In 2012, the MoA designated 6 670 family farms to carry out pilot programs on standardized management and services for the transfer of rural land. The MoA’s preliminary survey showed that, as of the end of 2012, there were nearly 0.9 million family farms of various types including planting, breeding or both of them, covering 11.666 67 million hectares of land. They are playing a more and more important role in ensuring the national food security and the supply of major farm products.
Specialized farmers’ cooperative
In 2012，specialized farmers’ cooperatives developed continuously and soundly in China. They have become significant modern organizations of agricultural management in rural areas in China.
The number of specialized farmers’ cooperatives was growing fast. By the end of 2012, there were a total of 689,000 cooperatives registered with competent industrial and commercial departments nationwide with 53 million registered members, accounting for 20.3% of all rural households throughout the country. They were distributed in various industries，including farming, processing and agricultural services. Among them, the crop farming accounts for 45.8% and the livestock, poultry and aquatic farming accounts for 28.5%, covering main farm products like grains, cotton, oil, meat, eggs, milk, fruit, vegetables and tea. A number of other industries like farm machineries, plant protection, folk arts and agricultural tourism were also exploited.
As their capability grew, more and more professional cooperatives were extending their business from simple technical and information services to the supply of goods used in agricultural production and the coordinated prevention and control of diseases and pests, and from services before and during agricultural production to services after production, including packaging, storage, processing and circulation. Some cooperatives set up their internal finances.
Chinese specialized farmers’ cooperatives are going through transformations from the sole quantitative expansion to laying equal stress on improvement of their quantity and quality, from the combined production to the integral management of production, processing and marketing, from cooperation in a single field to cooperation in multiple fields like technology, finance and land. They are playing an increasingly significant role in building a new type of agricultural management system, developing modem agriculture, promoting increase in farmers’ earnings, and building a new socialist countryside.
First, large-scale agricultural management was improved. As of the end of 2012, land transferred to cooperatives reached 293,067 million hectares, accounting for 15.8% of the transferred farmland nationwide. Professional cooperatives provided members with procurement and sales services and products, which were worth 722.8 billion yuan.
Second, the overall quality of agriculture was improved. About 50,000 professional cooperatives had their brands registered and products from over 30,000 cooperatives were certified as pollution-free, green or organic products.
Third, farmers’ earnings increased. On the one hand, professional cooperatives purchased agricultural inputs and sold agricultural products in a unified way to help members save costs and increase the benefit; on the other hand, professional cooperatives’ self-run or participated in enterprises processing. Circulating agricultural products increased the incremental benefit from product processing and circulation and realized the secondary allocation through returning members the surplus according to the volume of trade and their shares in the cooperative. In 2012, the MoA carried out pilot programs on “linking rural households with communities” 7,612 cooperatives have set up 12,176 outlets (chain stores) in 63 large and medium-sized cities. covering 11,428 communities or 64.96 million consumers, with annual sales of 16.75 billion yuan.
Fourth, innovation was made in the rural social management. According to statistics, about 16,000 cooperatives have now set up their party organizations. Cooperatives are becoming important carriers for the CPC to exercise the leadership in development of agricultural and rural economies.
Date submitted: nov. 12, 2014
Received, edited and uploaded: Nov. 13, 2014