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Industrialization of the Plateau Agriculture of Yunnan Province: Experiences, Problems and Countermeasures

Dec 25,2012

By Wu Zhenjun, DRC Task Force on Policies of Issues of Agriculture

Research Report No 32, 2012

I. Development of Agriculture Industrialization with Yunnan Characteristics

1. Development of scale of distinctive raw material bases of agricultural products

By giving play to the characteristics of the resources and advantages of the productive bases of its different regions, the province of Yunnan has given prominence to its priority tasks and made reasonable overall arrangement. The cultivated area of the province's cash crops reached 42 million mu in 2010 (15 mu make one hectare)and an overall arrangement of raw material bases of competitive agricultural products has gradually come into being in a standardized way and on a large scale. Firstly, the province has cemented and enhanced its competitive industries with traditional characteristics, such as tobacco, sugarcane and tea. Tobacco is the major agricultural industry of Yunnan. In 2010, the cultivated area of tobacco reached 6.578 million mu in Yunnan and the tobacco output of the province reached 991,000 tons, ranking first both in terms of its cultivated area and output across the country. Sugar industry is the second largest industry of the province. During the 11th Five-Year Plan period, the cultivated area of sugarcane in Yunnan remained between 4.3 million~4.7 million mu and the sugarcane output maintained around 17.5 million~20 million tons, with both the cultivated area and the output making up 16% or so of the national total, ranking second in the country. Tea industry is a fast-developing industry of Yunnan. By the end of 2010, the cultivated area of tea had reached 5.515 million mu, accounting for 19.9% of the national total, ranking top in the country, and the tea output had reached 207,000 tons, accounting for 14.1% of the national total, ranking second in the country. Secondly, the province has accelerated the development of such emerging distinctive industries as flowers and coffee. In 2011, the cultivated area of flowers in Yunnan reached 581,000 mu, ranking first in the country, and the output of fresh cut flowers ranked top in the country, making the province a national R&D base of new varieties of flowers. In 2010, the cultivated area of coffee in Yunnan reached 646,000 mu, with a production of 49,000 tons, making up more than 99% and 98% of the nationwide cultivated area and output respectively. Yunnan has become the major coffee production base in the country.

2. Rapid growth of leading enterprises of agriculture industrialization

In recent years, the number of leading enterprises of agriculture industrialization has increased in Yunnan and such enterprises have expanded and developed rapidly. A large number of management personnel for agriculture industrialization have been brought up and the growth of the farm produce processing industry has been facilitated as well. In 2010, the number of leading enterprises of agriculture industrialization reached 2012 in Yunnan and the number of various kinds of farm produce processing enterprises above the designated size reached 1,100. Leading enterprises of agriculture industrialization have actively become involved in distinctive and competitive industries, fostering enterprise clusters with distinguishing features and facilitating the development of the farm produce processing industry. In 2010, the total value of the farm produce processing industries in Yunnan added up to 83.2 billion yuan and the volume of the direct agricultural exports topped 1 billion US dollars. At present, 344 foreign enterprises and over 400 enterprises from other provinces have come to Yunnan for cultivation, breeding and processing of agricultural products, which will further promote the overall level of the leading enterprises of agriculture industrialization in Yunnan Province.

3. Rapidly improvement of farmers' organization level

The number of farmers' professional co-operative organizations has increased rapidly in Yunnan in recent years, thus forcefully advancing agriculture industrialization. By the end of 2010, the number of farmers' professional co-operative organizations widely scattered in various agricultural industries, such as tobacco, sugar and coffee, had increased to 10,127 with 1.02 million members, bringing along 1.54 million non-member farmers. Among others, the number of farmers' professional cooperatives registered at industrial and commercial authorities had increased to 7,258.

4. Evidently improved agricultural standardization and specialization

In light of the guiding principle of "Vigorous Government Motivation, Correct Market Guidance, Impetus by Leading Enterprises and Active Participation by Farmers", the province of Yunnan has devoted major efforts to starting the construction of agricultural standardization system and the standardization demonstration areas and has won initial success. By the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan period, Yunnan had formulated and promulgated a total of 1,152 local agricultural standards and criteria, preliminarily establishing the agricultural standardization system. At present, Yunnan has constructed a total of 134 standardization demonstration projects, with the area of the demonstration areas reaching 6.975 million mu. Yunnan has also started the building of the standardization systems for such competitive and distinctive agricultural industries as coffee, silkworm, flowers, young forest plants and spice oil, etc.

The production specialization level of some competitive agricultural industries is quite high in Yunnan. In 2010, Yunnan developed a total of 4,658 tobacco cooperatives and 240,000 production households, covering a cultivated area of 5.49 million mu, making up 88.4% of the provincial total, and realized 100% specialized culture of seedlings and commercialized supply of seedlings. In recent 5 years, such prefectures and municipalities as Lincang, Dehong, Pu'er Xishuangbanna and Wenshan of Yunnan have vigorously developed sugarcane cultivation villages and teams, thus enhancing the specialization in sugar production. In 2011, the cultivated area of sugarcane reached 1.518 million mu in Lincang, with 57 cultivation villages and 154 teams built, of which, Lincang Nan Hua Sugar Co. Ltd. built 38 sugarcane villages and 76 teams, covering an area of 434,000 mu, with the specialization level reaching 45.5%.

5. Initial formation of the modern farm produce circulation system

Yunnan has put forth efforts to advance the construction of the farm produce circulation market, improved the market service functions, initially set up the modern farm produce circulation platform, enhanced the efficiency of farm produce circulation and resolved, to a certain extent, the difficulty facing farmers, cooperatives and agricultural enterprises in market "buying and selling". Firstly, Yunnan has set up the modern farm produce circulation market system. Since 2005, Yunnan has set up an accumulative total of 15,000 countryside stores and 265 distribution centers. By 2010, Yunnan had set up 213,000 rural commercial networks under the county level and 2,600 farmers' trade markets. There have been 9 farm produce wholesale markets and 4 farm produce circulation enterprises. 20 farmers' markets have been listed as the state-level "Double-Hundred Market Projects" (the renovation of 100 large-scale agricultural products wholesale markets and the cultivation of 100 agricultural enterprises for circulation - notes added by the translator). Yunnan has initially formed the market system with wholesale markets playing the leading role, regional markets as the mainstay, urban and rural trade markets as the basis and large-, medium- and small-sized markets being mutually supportive. Secondly, Yunnan has improved the market service functions. Yunnan has invested an accumulative total of 2.95 billion yuan to develop such market infrastructure facilities as the farm produce cold-chain system, the retraceable quality safety system, logistics and distribution centers, inspection and testing centers, safety monitoring centers, sewage and waste treatment centers, liquidation centers and information centers. Thirdly, Yunnan has facilitated the connection of agricultural products with supermarkets. Through promotion fairs and trade shows, the commercial departments of Yunnan have actively organized and started the connection of agricultural products with supermarkets, enabling more farm produce circulation enterprises, farmers' co-operative organizations and supermarkets to participate in the aforesaid connection, so as to improve the efficiency in farm produce circulation.

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