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Tottori University (2010)

Effects of the grain for green program on rural household productivity and efficiency in Loess Platreau, China

李 莉

Titre : Effects of the grain for green program on rural household productivity and efficiency in Loess Platreau, China

Auteur : 李 莉

Université de soutenance : Tottori University

Grade : Doctoral Thesis 2010

Résumé partiel
The Loess Plateau, with the most serious soil erosion worldwide, is among the most poverty-stricken areas in China. Land reclamation, overgrazing and deforestation for growing foods and subsistence needs aggregate both economic and environmental circumstances for the farmers and brought about significant negative externalities. The Chinese government responded with a Program called Grain for Green Program in 1999. The Program committed to sustainable development of the target area through financial support, technical assistant and institutional improvement at national or regional scale, with an intention of prevent the unsustainable agricultural practices through improvement (or at least maintenance) in agricultural production, and transfer of surplus labor force to off-farm jobs. Indicators of total factor productivity (TFP, measured as the ratio of aggregate output to aggregate input) and technical efficiency (TE, measured as the ratio of actual to potential output) are of particular significance for evaluating the Program for sustainable development. The objectives of this study are to shed some light on issues related to effects of the Program based on TFP and efficiency indicators and find out ways to improve the effectiveness of the Program. Specifically, the study addresses the following mutually related questions : (1) What changes had been induced by the Program on TFP and TE at the farm level ? Among the components of TFP growth - technological growth and TE changes, what is (are) the driver(s) of TFP change ? What are the factors responsible for the TFP change and its components ? (2) How is the rural households’ efficiencies at the farm level under the prevailing circumstances (the emerging technology and shrinkage of land area, etc.), brought about by the Program ? What are the factors responsible for the inefficiencies at the farm level ? (3) Off-farm income has increasingly become an important income sources for participant households. It not only reshapes the labor allocation of the rural households, but also affects their agricultural production and household welfare. So how is the farm-household technical efficiency (or TE at the farm-household level) after the implementation of the Program ? What are the factors responsible for the inefficiencies at the farm-household level ? Here by farm level, TFP and efficiencies are estimated with only agricultural inputs (e.g. land, labor, capital and material) and outputs (e.g. crop and livestock) ; and by farm-household level, efficiencies are estimated with not only agricultural inputs and outputs, but also inputs (e.g. labor used in off-farm jobs) and outputs (e.g. off-farm income) used in off-farm employment.

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