Changjiang Liuyu Ziyuan Yu Huanjing/Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Valley

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Abstract :

Farmland scale management (FSM) is an essential strategy to establish an appropriate management scale for agricultural production, enhance smallholder farmer production efficiency, and improve the utilization rate of farmland. The Chinese government promotes farmland transfer as a tool to establish modern and moderate-scale agriculture. However, farmers remain unable to afford agricultural services and inputs required for appropriate FSM after farmland is transferred-in. This paper aims to examine the impact of agricultural socialized services (ASSs) on the FSM behavior of smallholder farmers through farmland transfer. A theoretical framework for the farmer household production aspect of this relationship is developed. A weighted least squares (WLS) model is applied to empirically examine smallholder farmers’ decisions to expand the scale of farmland induced by the promotion of ASSs based on data collected from 741 households in 2020 in the rice-growing region of southern China. The findings reveal that ASSs have a positive and significant impact on small farmers’ FSM. Small farmers’ behavior regarding farmland transfer is affected positively by the promotion of ASSs. The increase of ASSs encourages small farmers to transfer-in more farmland. However, the impact of ASSs on various steps of agricultural practice varied according to the FSM of smallholder farmers. Our findings imply that the government should take the development of ASSs as one of the main methods for promoting the establishment of moderate and large-scale agriculture and rural revitalization. Strengthening policies and financial support for both private and public ASS providers through financial innovation subsidies and preferential tax policies will help smallholder farmers reduce input costs and increase the scale of production and profits. The findings of this paper will provide a scientific basis and reference for the development of moderate-scale agriculture and rural revitalization