Four decades of China’s agricultural extension reform and its impact on agents’ time allocation

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Article de journal
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Cai J.
Jia Y.
Hu R.
Zhang C.

The Chinese Government has initiated a series of agricultural reforms since the 1970s to encourage agents to provide more services to farmers. In 2006, a new round of agricultural reforms was extended nationwide; however, the effectiveness of these reforms has not been examined. Based on a comparison of survey data sets before and after the reforms, we found that overall they significantly increased the time agents spend on agricultural extension services, although their effectiveness differs among three major components of the reforms. While the financial assurance reform had little impact on agents’ time allocation, the administrative reform actually reduced the time allocation to agricultural extension. However, this research found strong evidence that the ‘three rights’ management reform (comprising the rights of personnel, financial and asset management) successfully increased agents’ time allocation to agricultural extension services. The research found that institutional incentives and the Government’s investment did not increase the time agents spent on agricultural extension. The lack of incentives is a problem that needs to be addressed in future reforms. The paper founds that professional agents spent more time providing extension services than their non-professional counterparts. We suggest that local Governments should avoid recruiting nonprofessional agents into agricultural extension stations

Αnnée de publication: 
administrative reform
agricultural extension
‘three rights’ reform.