JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 1150-1163.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20230503

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Study of the model of new types of agribusiness cooperating with small farmers based on the transaction cost theory: A case study of Tieguanyin tea industries in Anxi

ZHANG Yong-xun1(), LI Xian-de1(), ZHANG Chang-shui2   

  1. 1. Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, CAAS, Beijing 100081, China
    2. Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Anxi County, Anxi 362499, Fujian, China
  • Received:2022-05-29 Revised:2022-09-18 Online:2023-05-28 Published:2023-05-15
  • Contact: LI Xian-de;


With the development of industrialization and urbanization, the production mode of small farmers has been unable to adapt to the demands and transaction traits of the large market, which has hindered the sustainable development of agriculture and the continual increase of farmers' income. Therefore, the central government of China made a series of policies to encourage the development of new agricultural management systems and cultivate new types of agribusiness (NTA) to promote the development of small-scale agriculture and the income improvement of small farmers. However, in reality, due to problems in the cooperation mode and mechanism, many NTA companies failed to play a leading role in improving incomes of small farmers. Relevant research needs to be strengthened. Taking the tea industry of the Anxi Tieguanyin Tea Culture system, the Globally Important Agricultural Cultural Heritage, as an example, this study used in-depth interviews and literature research to obtain relevant data and analyzed the four types of cooperation modes between NTA and small farmers related to tea industries in Anxi county to reveal the reasons for the choice of cooperation mode done by NTA based on transaction cost theory. The results show that the NTA can reduce the transaction costs at the market side and the supply side depending on stabilizing the supply of tea raw material quantity and quality by cooperating with small farmers. The cooperatives set up by the principal person of enterprises have a higher management efficiency, which can realize multilateral win-win situation. Industrial bases, development orientation and resource bases are all important factors that influence NTA's cooperation mode choices between them and farmers, leading to the phenomenon of multiple modes existing in one place. Effective supervision mechanism is the key to ensure long-term win-win cooperation between NTA and small farmers. In Anxi, NTA established a supervision mechanism between enterprises, cooperatives, farmer members or different households, and the reward-punishment mechanism, which is a reward for conscientious performance and a social punishment for breach of contract to achieve a long-term cooperation among them. The NTA can effectively promote the protection of important agricultural heritage systems by choosing appropriate mode and mechanism to cooperate with farmers.

Key words: transaction cost, new types of agribusiness, cooperation model, agricultural heritage systems, Anxi Tieguanyin