Agricultural Reform in China: Getting Institutions Right by Yiping Huang

By Yiping Huang

The profitable agricultural reform conducted in China within the Nineteen Seventies begun encountering mounting problems from the mid-1980s, as development premiums dropped and costs elevated sharply. This examine analyzes the various reform measures brought in China some time past 20 years, and gives a whole research of the present agricultural method. via cautious exam of the political economic system and the various coverage thoughts, the writer argues that China should still push ahead with its market-oriented reform measures and introduce the trials of foreign festival into the rural quarter.

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Additional resources for Agricultural Reform in China: Getting Institutions Right (Trade and Development)

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This message was clearly carried in policy statements by trade officials, cited by Lardy (1992:16): Export is for import and import is for the country's socialist industrialisation (Ye Jizhuang, then Minister of Foreign Trade). (T)he purpose of importing more industrial equipment from the Soviet Union is to lay the foundation of China's industrial independence, so that in the future China can produce all of the producer goods it needs and will not have to rely on imports from the outside (Zhang Huadong, then Director of the Ministry's Import Bureau).

After that, however, most prices were left unadjusted for one and a half decades until economic reform in 1979. While the government purchased agricultural products at low prices it also devised some compensation measures. Farmers or production teams who fulfilled state purchase quotas were entitled to certain allocations of agricultural inputs including agricultural machinery, fertilisers, pesticides, electricity and diesel oil and small farm tools at subsidised prices. This compensation, though only symbolic in value terms, reduced resistance to state purchase of agricultural products.

Western sources adjust this growth rate downward to 5 per cent but this is still much higher than the world average in the 1930s (Easterly and Fischer 1987). 3 The fact that the rapid development of its (defence-related) heavy industry also helped the Soviet Union significantly in international politics perhaps made this development strategy more appealing to the Chinese leaders. 4 Most of them, however, were policy slogans without careful evaluation and planning. 5 The Chinese economy is sometimes divided into three broad categories (industries): 'primary' industry includes agriculture and mining; 'secondary' industry is the industrial processing sector; and 'tertiary' industry is the service sector.

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