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Accepted Paper:

Impact of agricultural capitalization on the economic income of Chinese crayfish farmers  


Dongmei Xu (Wuhan University)
Yiyun Chen (Wuhan University)

Paper short abstract:

China's booming crayfish sector has not significantly increased the income of crayfish farmers, but has pushed them towards semi-proletarianization. To study the impact of agricultural capitalization on crayfish farmers' economy, we combine field research with Phillip Huang's "Involutionary Theory".

Paper long abstract:

The ever-increasing crayfish industry is of great significance to promote economic and social development. While the demand and price of cooked crayfish has risen dramatically, the income of most crayfish farmers has not increased significantly. To investigate where the intermediate profit goes, we did a field research in Jianli County, which is known as the "China's first crayfish county". It was found that most of the intermediate profit was actually plundered by the capital owner. Crayfish farmers from the county are mainly engaged in direct agricultural production, yet, their upstream, such as crayfish seed, feed, animal protection products, and downstream, such as processing, marketing, cold chain logistics are all monopolized by agricultural capital. Our research provides evidence to support the theory proposed by Phillip Huang that agricultural capital often does not participate in agricultural production but rely mainly on the field of circulation through cheap purchases and expensive sales to capture the market income of crayfish agricultural products. We also highlight the need to protect crayfish farmers' profits given their little benefit from the development of crayfish industry. We suggest that the existing new vertical integration need to be learned to establish a new type of logistics system and improve the crayfish industry chain. For example, the government could help crayfish farmers to set up freezing plants and promote crayfish catering industry, etc. Perhaps this study will be conducive to increasing farmers' income and achieving rural revitalization.

Panel AN05
Soil security and sustainable development in the Anthropocene