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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2020

Shengyang Sun, Chao Zhang and Ruifa Hu

The negative externalities of pesticide overuse increasingly concern the public. However, little empirical evidence has been provided for pesticide overuse and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The negative externalities of pesticide overuse increasingly concern the public. However, little empirical evidence has been provided for pesticide overuse and the relationship between the governmental agricultural extension system reforms and pesticide use in grain production from a nationwide perspective. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the productive effect and overuse of pesticides, and it also investigates the effect of the governmental agricultural extension system reforms on pesticide expenditure in rice, maize and wheat production in China.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-equation system model consisting of an exponential-specific damage-control production function and a pesticide use function is applied to the provincial-level data during the period 1985–2016.

Findings

While pesticide expenditure significantly increases grain productivity, the actual pesticide expenditure exceeds the economically optimal level. The commercialization reform of the governmental agricultural extension system contributed to the increase in pesticide expenditure. Moreover, the de-commercialization reform of the governmental agricultural extension system plays a limited role in pesticide reduction. Price fluctuations for grain and pesticide also impose significant effects on pesticide expenditure.

Originality/value

This study has two important policy implications for pesticide reduction in China. It is urgent to specify the functions of the governmental agricultural extension system, and encourage the development of the socialized agricultural technology service. More efforts should also be made to remove the bureaucratic intervention on the pricing mechanism of grain product and pesticide.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Yanhong Jin, Yahong Hu, Carl Pray and Ruifa Hu

The Chinese Government has used a number of policies to encourage commercial agribusiness firms to do more innovation. These include public sector agricultural research…

Abstract

Purpose

The Chinese Government has used a number of policies to encourage commercial agribusiness firms to do more innovation. These include public sector agricultural research and development (R&D), public sector biotechnology research and innovation, subsidies for commercial research, encouraging foreign firms to invest in China as minority shareholders in joint ventures, and allowing commercial companies to raise money on the stock market. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether these policies were effective in stimulating innovations by commercial firms in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study estimates the impact of public biotech research and other policies by employing an econometric model of patenting by commercial firms. It uses a unique data set collected from commercial agribusiness firms for the years 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Addition data were collected from public research institutes and universities and patent data from the Derwent Innovations Index database. It employs four count data models for the empirical analysis.

Findings

This study finds a positive impact of public biotechnology (measured by the number of biotech patents of government research institutes and public universities) on commercial innovation measured by the number of patents granted to the commercial firms. As expected the firm’s research expenditure and having their own R&D center (as opposed to contracting R&D or no R&D investment at all) have a positive and statistically significant effect on the number of patents granted. The impacts of public R&D investment spending have no statistically significant effect on commercial innovation. Multi-national firms and publicly traded firms have fewer patents than their counterparts suggesting that policies to encourage multi-nationals and financing through stock markets had no impact on innovation.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first studies to untangle the relationship between government policies and innovation by commercial agricultural research output and public R&D investment and biotechnology. The main findings suggest that simply increasing research money to public research does not increase commercial innovations, but moving resources to the development patentable biotech does improve commercial research productivity. The results also suggest that policies to increase commercial research will also increase innovation. These could include strengthening the legal framework and institutional resources for public institutes to the protection and enforcement of intellectual properties.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Jinyang Cai, Ruifa Hu, Jikun Huang and Xiaobing Wang

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether China’s public sector can continue to generate advanced genetically modified (GM) technologies that will be competitive in…

2085

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether China’s public sector can continue to generate advanced genetically modified (GM) technologies that will be competitive in the market.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors investigated all the research teams that have been conducting research projects under the variety development special program. The data collected include detail information on research capacity, research areas, performance, and process of their research projects. Based on the survey data, the authors assessed the innovations and progress of the variety development special program.

Findings

Unlike other countries, most GM products in China are developed by public research institutes. There is rising concern on the ability of China’s public sector to continuously generate indigenous GM technology that can compete with multinational companies. The study surveyed 197 research institutes and 487 research teams and found that the GM program in China lacks coordination: researchers do not want to share their research materials with others. Due to the lack of coordination, most of the hundreds of research teams often worked independently in the year 2008-2010. Moreover, the authors found the lack of coordination may be due to the reason that the interests of researchers are not well protected. This paper also provided the recent progress and policy changes of GM program in China, and it found that the efficiency in the later three years improved a lot. In order to establish a competitive national public GM research system, China should continuously consolidate and integrate the upstream, midstream, and downstream activities of the whole GM innovation process. China’s public sector may also need to work more closely with both the domestic and international private sectors.

Originality/value

This paper is a comprehensive analysis on the development of transgenic technology in China. The results of this paper can provide evidence for the dynamic adjustment of the policies in the variety development special program and can also provide reference for the future assessment of the variety development special program.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Haiyan Deng, Ruifa Hu, Jikun Huang, Carl Pray, Yanhong Jin and Zhonghua Li

Economic interest groups such as seed, pesticide, feed, and food companies play an important role in supporting or preventing the production of genetically modified (GM…

Abstract

Purpose

Economic interest groups such as seed, pesticide, feed, and food companies play an important role in supporting or preventing the production of genetically modified (GM) crops. The purpose of this paper is to examine firm managers’ attitudes toward GM technology, biotechnology R&D investment, and political lobbying activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from surveys of 160 managers in the food, feed, chemical, and seed industries in 2013-2014, this paper employed three probit models to examine the determinants of managers’ attitudes, biotechnology R&D investment, and lobbying activities.

Findings

The results show that most Chinese agribusiness managers are concerned about GM foods and oppose its adoption. Nevertheless, one-third of the firms invest in biotechnology R&D and less than 15 percent of managers lobbied the government to change biotechnology policies. The econometric estimation results suggest that profit change expectation is the main factor affecting managers’ attitudes and biotechnology R&D investment decisions, whereas lobbying activities are significantly influenced by their attitudes and biotechnology R&D investment. In addition, managers’ attitudes toward GM foods also significantly influence firms’ decisions to invest in biotechnology R&D.

Originality/value

This paper has improved on previous research in two ways. First, it analyses the determinants of agribusiness firm managers’ attitudes toward GM technology, biotechnology R&D investment, and lobbying activities. Second, the methodology involves an analysis of agribusiness firm survey data in the food, feed, chemical, and seed industries, which is the first time to use such data to research on economic interest group in agricultural biotechnology field.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Haiyan Deng and Ruifa Hu

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese consumers’ attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) foods and the impact that consumers’ trust in different actors – GM…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese consumers’ attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) foods and the impact that consumers’ trust in different actors – GM scientists, non-GM scientists or individuals, the government and the media, has on their attitudes.

Design/methodology/approach

Consumers in Beijing were surveyed about their attitudes toward GM foods and their trust in different actors. The surveys were conducted from June to July of 2015. The sample size is 1,460 people. Given the potential endogeneity of trust variable, bivariate probit models are employed to estimate the impact of trust in different actors on consumers’ attitudes.

Findings

The results show that 55 percent of the Chinese consumers are opposed to GM foods and nearly 60 percent do not trust GM scientists. In total, 42 percent of Chinese consumers trust in the government and 39 percent trust the non-GM scientists or individuals. Around 35 percent of consumers believe the misinformation on GM technology that were provided by the media. Trust in the GM scientists and trust in the government have a significant positive impact on consumers’ acceptance of GM foods while trust in the non-GM scientists or individuals and believing the misinformation have a significant negative effect on the acceptance. Nearly 70 percent of Chinese consumers acquired information about GM food safety from the internet or via WeChat. Consumers who acquired GM technology information from the internet or via WeChat are less likely to embrace GM foods than those who obtain information from other sources.

Originality/value

Consumer trust plays a crucial role to accept biotech products in the market and it is crucial for producers, policy makers and consumers to have faith in new biotech products. The results of this study suggest that the government and GM scientists should make more effort to gain the trust and support of consumers, while the media should provide objective reports on GM products based on scientific evidence.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Carl E. Pray, Latha Nagarajan, Jikun Huang, Ruifa Hu and Bharat Ramaswami

Since the 1980s agricultural biotech investments by the public sector have increased substantially in both China and India. In the last two decades there has also been a…

Abstract

Since the 1980s agricultural biotech investments by the public sector have increased substantially in both China and India. In the last two decades there has also been a dramatic increase in private section investment in agricultural biotechnology particularly in India. The promise of major benefits of Bt cotton identified in early socioeconomic studies of Bt cotton has proven to be true. Bt cotton has spread to at least 66% and 85% of total cotton areas of China and India, respectively – wherever bollworm is a major problem. Bt cotton continues to control bollworm in both countries, and farmers continue as major beneficiaries rather than biotech or seed companies. The major impacts have been yield increases in India and reduced pesticides consumption in China. In China, evidence also suggests that Bt cotton has suppressed the bollworm population so that non-Bt cotton growers and producers of other crops that are susceptible to bollworm are also benefitting.

The chapter also provides evidence that in the near future Bt rice and Bt eggplant could have major positive impacts by reducing pesticide use and farmers’ exposure to chemical pesticides and increasing yields. Both crops were approved for commercial production by government biosafety regulators, but are not yet available for commercial cultivation.

Details

Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Abstract

Details

Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Xiaoyun Liu, Xiuqing Wang and Xian Xin

China's agricultural sector has developed very rapidly in the past 30 years and agricultural technological progress is deemed one of the most substantial factors leading…

5567

Abstract

Purpose

China's agricultural sector has developed very rapidly in the past 30 years and agricultural technological progress is deemed one of the most substantial factors leading to its rapid agricultural GDP growth. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impacts of China's agricultural technological changes on its regional disparity.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of multiple regions and multiple sectors to investigate the impacts of agricultural technological changes on regional disparity. The CGE model structure includes production side, demand side, and market clearing conditions.

Findings

The results suggest that agricultural technological changes significantly reduced China's agricultural regional disparity and accounted for 40 percent reduction in agricultural regional disparity in terms of agricultural GDP per capita. Agricultural technological changes, however, led to an increase in China's overall regional disparity and accounted for 6 percent increase in its overall regional disparity in terms of per capita GDP.

Practical implications

China's GDP has been growing very rapidly since 1978 and agricultural GDP has been playing a decreasing role in China's overall GDP. Regional disparity in non‐agricultural GDP per capita overweighted the equalization of agricultural GDP per capita. The results imply that the Chinese government should resort more to non‐agricultural development to fight against the enlarging regional disparity.

Originality/value

China's agricultural technological changes have led to an increase in China's overall regional disparity while the changes have significantly reduced China's agricultural regional disparity.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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