The Impact of Agricultural Cooperatives on the Adoption of Technologies and Farm Performance of Apple Farmers in China
This study examines the impact of agricultural cooperative membership on the adoption of technologies and farm performance, using data collected from 481 apple farmers in China. Specifically, the study first examines the impact of cooperative membership on investment in organic fertilizer, farmyard manure and chemical fertilizer using a recursive bivariate probit model. Second, the causal link between cooperative membership and adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) technology is analyzed by employing an endogenous switching probit model. Meanwhile, a treatment effects model is employed to further analyze the impact of IPM adoption on apple yields, net returns and agricultural income. Third, this study examines the impact of cooperative membership on apple yields, net returns and household income using an endogenous switching regression model. Fourth, a treatment effects model is employed to analyze the impact of cooperative membership on return on investment (ROI). Finally, the determinants of marketing contract choices including written contracts, oral contracts and no contracts, and the impact of marketing contracts on net returns are analyzed. The empirical results show that cooperative membership exerts a positive and statistically significant impact on the probabilities of investing in organic fertilizer and farmyard manure. Cooperative membership exerts a positive and significant impact on IPM adoption, and IPM adoption increases apple yields, net returns and agricultural income. Moreover, cooperative membership exerts a positive and significant impact on apple yields, farm net returns, household income and ROI. The results further indicate that written contracts increase apple farmers’ net returns, while oral contracts exert the opposite effect. Finally, the findings show that education, household size, farm size, labor input, asset ownership and access to credit exert positive and significant effects on the choice of cooperative membership.