Farmer cooperatives in China: diverse pathways to sustainable rural development uri icon

abstract

  • In the midst of China's agricultural reform, new forms of farmer organization have emerged, some initiated by farmers themselves, but most through government intervention. Based on national survey data complemented by two in-depth case studies of rural cooperatives, an analysis is made of the roles and significance of these new farmer organizations. Chinese rural cooperatives predominantly facilitate economic cooperation and market integration. This is supported by agricultural policies and the Cooperative Law of 2007 oriented towards the commoditization of smallholder farming. There are some cooperatives not primarily motivated by commodity imperatives, but by the fulfilment of agro-ecological and sociocultural functions. To date, the roles and significance of this non-mainstream type of rural cooperative has not received much attention. If China is to become a "green society" as proclaimed by the government, more attention and support to this type of cooperatives seems warranted

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014