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A Comparative Study on Basic Competitiveness of Agriculture between China and the U.S. and Policy Options(No.39, 2017)


By Zhang Yunhua, Research Team on “Building a Competitiveness-oriented Agricultural Policy System”, Research Department of Rural Economy, DRC

Research report No.39, 2017 (Total 5114) 2017-4-11

Abstract: A country’s comprehensive competitiveness of agriculture rests on its basic competitiveness of agriculture . A comparative study between Chinese and American agriculture shows that China’s agriculture has entered a “high-cost” era as China’s agricultural costs are much higher than that of the U.S. whereas China’s agricultural productivity and basic competitiveness are both weaker than that of the U.S. In addition, labor and land cost of agriculture in China is also far higher than that of the U.S. In the cost factors of American agriculture, material and service cost cover a large share, which shows that American agricultural production relies more on material input, agricultural machinery equipment, and technical services. The fundamental reason for the weak basic competitiveness of Chinese agriculture is related to inappropriate utilization of resources, low quality of labor force, inadequate level of agricultural machinery and low hi-tech content. In the future, we need to make great efforts to enhance agricultural resource utilization rate, the quality of labor force, the level of mechanization and hi-tech content. And we need to reduce agricultural cost, increase agricultural efficiency and promote the basic competitiveness of agriculture all by a big margin.

Key words: basic competitiveness of agriculture, agricultural cost, labor cost, land cost, productivity