To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Technical efficiency of food processing in China: the case of flour and rice processing

Wen‐Ge Fu (College of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China)
Sizhong Sun (School of Business, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Zhang‐Yue Zhou (School of Business, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)

China Agricultural Economic Review

ISSN: 1756-137X

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the technical efficiency of wheat and paddy rice processing in China. Understanding the level of technical efficiency of food processing helps to decide whether efforts are warranted to improve this efficiency. Studies on China's technical efficiency of flour and rice processing are scarce. This paper fills this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

With a unique set of firm‐level survey data collected by China's State Statistical Bureau, this study adopts a stochastic frontier model to investigate the technical efficiency of flour and rice processing.

Findings

The technical efficiency for both flour and rice processing is low in China, being only about 50 per cent. On average, rice processing firms have slightly higher technical efficiency than flour processing firms. It is also found that a significant proportion of firms experienced negative growth of technical efficiency during the time period of investigation.

Originality/value

Each year, some 300 million tonnes of wheat and paddy rice are processed in China. Any small improvement in technical efficiency is translated into huge economic gains. Further, a tiny improvement in flour or rice output rate is equivalent to an enormous increase in food supply, contributing to China's food security. The paper confirms the need and potential to raise technical efficiency in China for wheat and paddy rice processing.

Keywords

Citation

Fu, W., Sun, S. and Zhou, Z. (2011), "Technical efficiency of food processing in China: the case of flour and rice processing", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 321-334. https://doi.org/10.1108/17561371111165761

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited