Impact of contract farming on income | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2007
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
IFPRI-p15738coll2-125282
Pages: 
23 pages

Contract farming is seen by proponents as a way to raise small-farm income by delivering technology and market information to small farmers, incorporating them into remunerative new markets. Critics, however, see it as a strategy for agribusiness firms to pass production risk to farmers, taking advantage of an unequal bargaining relationship. There is also concern that contract farming will worsen rural income inequality by favoring larger farmers. This study examines these issues in Shandong Province, China, using survey data collected from 162 apple and green onion farmers and interviews with four contracting firms in 2005. Using a probit model to estimate participation in a contract-farming scheme, we find little evidence that contracting firms prefer to work with larger farmers, though all farms in the area are quite small. Furthermore, using a Heckman selection-correction model to control for possible selection bias, we find that contract farmers earn significantly more than independent farmers after controlling for household labor availability, education, farm size, and other characteristics. Finally, we find that the way contracting contributes to farm income varies between commodities: contract apple growers benefit from higher yields (presumably due to technical assistance), while contract green onion growers receive higher prices (presumably due to better quality). These results suggest that contract farming can help small farmers raise their incomes and gain access to the growing urban and export markets. Questions remain regarding the number of farmers that are, or could be, brought into similar contract arrangements." -- from Authors' Abstract

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Miyata, Sachiko; Minot, Nicholas; Hu, Dinghuan

Publisher(s): 

About IFPRI


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI currently has more than 500 employees working in over 50 countries. It is a research center of theCGIAR Consortium, a worldwide partnership engaged in agricultural research for development.


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About IFPRI


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI currently has more than 500 employees working in over 50 countries. It is a research center of theCGIAR Consortium, a worldwide partnership engaged in agricultural research for development.


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