Dragon Head Enterprises and the State of Agribusiness in China

Mindi Schneider*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the political trajectory of agribusiness firms called ‘dragon head enterprises’ in China's ongoing agri-food transformations. It starts from the premise that state and private elites in China are working together to consolidate a robust domestic agribusiness sector, as both an arena for national-level rural and economic development, and a new frontier for access to resources and markets abroad. Through analyses of policy documents, market share data and ethnographic materials, I explore the organization and operation of dragon heads in the pork sector. My findings reveal that agribusiness development in China's pork sector is largely domestic, has a mixed state–private form and tends to marginalize the foreign-based TNCs that have been the most powerful actors in the global agri-food system to date. I argue that China is not only a destination for ‘external’ transnational capital, but also a site of agribusiness development in its own right. This has important implications for analysing capitalist transformations and for engaging global agri-food politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • agribusiness
  • agricultural modernization
  • China
  • dragon head enterprise
  • global agri-food systems

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