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Small-scale farmers in China in the face of modernisation and globalisation

Jikun Huang, Xiaobing Wang, Huanguang Qiu

Book/Report, 58 pages

China’s economy has been the fastest growing in the world since 1980. Its agricultural sector too has grown and has undergone dramatic changes with rapid modernisation and globalisation. This paper, the third in a series from the Hivos/IIED Knowledge Programme Small Producer Agency in the Globalised Market, aims to provide insights into small-scale farming in China in the face of these phenomena. Based on current literature and a survey of youth perceptions of farming, the paper examines the way modernisation and globalisation in Chinese agriculture and the wider national economy are being addressed at the farm level. It assesses how well public policies and institutional arrangements are enabling small-scale farmers to enter and operate in markets, and whether small-scale farmers influence market-related policies. It discusses who is migrating, and who is staying on the farm, and what opportunities exist for collective action to improve market access. It also looks at the role of youth in farming and what the future holds for them.

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Jikun Huang, Xiaobing Wang and Huanguang Qiu (2012. Small-scale farmers in China in the face of modernisation and globalisation. IIED/HIVOS