Since the mid-1990s, "agricultural industrialisation" (AI) has been advocated in China to promote rural development by integrating agriculture with the post-harvest sectors such as agro-processing and marketing. Large-scale "Dragon head enterprises" (DHEs) and various forms of rural household associations (RAs) have been particularly promoted as AI organisational models. Drawing on the case study of the sweet potato sector in Sichuan Province, this book investigates their impact on rural livelihoods. Lingohr-Wolf analyses the forms of household linkages with AI organisations, the underlying household incentives to diversify both labour and agricultural production towards AI, and the developmental benefits and potential constraints that shape such rural involvement.
By taking a rural household perspective on livelihood diversification, the analysis provides new insights into the links between rural household involvement in AI and the achievement of development objectives. It reveals that although there are significant beneficial effects, a number of challenges, such as entry barriers and imbalances in bargaining power, still need to be addressed to improve the positive impact of AI for rural development in China.
As the first authoritative analysis of AI in China, this book is an essential read for scholars interested in economic development in China and rural development and agricultural economics more generally.
Table of Contents
1. Livelihoods and the Agro-economy: Rural Transformations in China after 1978 2. Research Approach and Methods 3. The Case Study: The Sweet Potato (SP) Sector in Sichuan Province 4. Analysis of Linkage Forms in SP Processing 5. Benefits from Involvement in AI 6. Constraints and Limitations to Rural Livelihood Improvements 7. AI and Rural Livelihoods: Opportunities and Challenges
Susanne Lingohr-Wolf holds a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her doctoral research focuses on agricultural industrialisation in China. In her work as a consultant agro-economist for the United Nations she advises on international agro-industry developments. Her research interests include agro-economy, rural development and rural livelihoods. She has published in The China Quarterly.