Participation in farmer's cooperatives and its effects on agricultural incomes : evidence from vegetable-producing areas in ChinaParticipation in farmer's cooperatives and its effects on agricultural incomes : evidence from vegetable-producing areas in China
5782016-03-01 , Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO)
Chinese agricultural cooperatives, called Farmer's Professional Cooperatives (FPCs), are expected to become a major tool to facilitate agro-industrialization for small farmers through the diffusion of new technologies, the supply of high-quality agricultural inputs and the marketing of their products. This study compares FPC participants with vegetable-producing non-participants and grain farmers in vegetable-producing areas in rural China to investigate the treatment effect of participation in FPCs as well as implementation of vegetable cultivation. I adopt parametric and nonparametric approaches to precisely estimate the treatment effects. Estimated results indicate no significant difference between participants and non-participants of FPCs on agricultural net income in both parametric and non-parametric estimations. In contrast, the comparison between vegetable and grain farmers using propensity score matching (PSM) reveals that the treatment effect of vegetable cultivation is significantly positive for total and agricultural incomes, although vegetable cultivation involves more labor-intensive efforts. These results indicate that it is the implementation of vegetable cultivation rather than the participation in an FPC that enhances the economic welfare of farmers, due to the non-excludability of FPCs' services as well as the risks involved in vegetable cultivation.