Dairy farms in China's suburban areas have been playing an important role in providing urban markets with fresh milk. With the rising demand for fluid milk and dairy products in the cities, there is a perception that small and scattered dairy farms in China's provinces are gradually disappearing and more concentrated dairy cattle farming is being formed near suburban areas. This article uses farm‐level survey data and stochastic input distance functions to make estimates of total factor productivity (TFP) on suburban dairy farms, as well as for the entire dairy sector. The results show that over the past decade TFP growth has been positive on suburban dairy farms, and this rise in productivity has been driven mostly by technological change. However, at the same time we find that, on average, the same farms have been falling behind the advancing technical frontier. We also find one of the drivers of the suburban dairy sector is the relatively robust rate of technological change of these farms, which has been more rapid than on farms in the dairy sector as a whole. The results suggest that efforts to achieve greater adoption of new technologies and better advice on how to use the technologies and manage production and marketing within the suburban dairy sector will further advance productivity growth in the sector.
Agricultural Economics – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 2007
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