1.School of Economics, South-Central Minzu University;2.College of Business, Central South University of Forestry and Technology
National Natural Science Foundation of China (72003201); Foundation for Young Scholars of Humanity and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education of China (19YJC790093); Social Science Foundation of Hunan Province (18YBQ138).
Agricultural diseconomies of scale are caused by various problems such as cropland fragmentation. To explore the effects of capital dependence and formal credit constraint on farmers’ willingness to scale up management, and to provide a policy basis for further improving the land scale management. Based on a sample data of 906 rice farmers in main producing areas, including Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, and Jiangxi provinces in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, this paper estimated the appropriate operation scale by the D-G production function under the output maximization objective and analyzed the influence of capital dependence and formal credit constraint on their moderate scale operation intention by the binary Logistic model. Results show that the appropriate scale range of rice production in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River was 13.33~20 hm2, and the number of farmers reaching the optimal scale accounted for less than 20%. The degree of capital dependence has a positive effect on farmers’ intention of moderate operation scale, among which, the proportion of transferred farmland and the original value of machinery purchased, which represent the degree of capital dependence, have positive effects on farmers’ willingness to operate at a moderate scale. The proportion of employed labor has no significant effects on the willingness to operate at a moderate scale. In terms of the impact of formal credit constraint, farmers constrained by demand-type credit were more likely to be willing to expand their business scale. Therefore, most farmers can increase the output rate by expanding the scale of land operation. Among them, farmers with greater capital dependence and stronger demand-oriented credit constraint are more willing to operate at a moderate scale. Therefore, it is necessary to speed up the cultivation of a new type of agricultural operation subject with appropriate scale, to improve the precision of policy implementation, to innovate various kinds of financial institutions to support agriculture, and to increase the participation rate of farmers in the financial market.