Please wait a minute...
Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (5): 1396-1406    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63263-4
Special Issue: 农业经济与管理合辑Agricultural Economics and Management 食品科学合辑Food Science
Agricultural Economics and Management Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Can harvest outsourcing services reduce field harvest losses of rice in China?
QU Xue1, Daizo KOJIMA1, Yukinaga NISHIHARA2, WU La-ping3, Mitsuyoshi ANDO1 
1 Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
2 Organization for Regional and Inter-regional Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan
3 College of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, P.R.China
Download:  PDF in ScienceDirect  
Export:  BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      


The purpose of this study is to quantify the rice harvest losses in China and to evaluate the impacts of machinery and harvest outsourcing services on these losses, given the background of high-speed mechanization and outsourcing services.  Data were collected from a national survey conducted in 2016 by the research team in conjunction with the Research Center for the Rural Economy of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China.  A non-parametric method was used to test whether combine harvesting and outsourcing services could significantly reduce harvest losses.  Next, quantile regression was used to estimate the real effects of machinery and outsourcing services on harvest losses.  The analysis yielded four main study outcomes.  First, the harvest loss rate of rice in China was 3.65%.  Second, mechanical reaping and winnowing caused greater losses than manual methods, while the opposite was true of field transportation.  Third, combine harvesting increased the losses.  Fourth, the effects of an outsourcing service on losses differed among the different harvesting methods.  Outsourcing services increased losses in segmented harvesting but they reduced losses in combine harvesting.
Keywords:  rice harvest        outsourcing service        combine harvesting        harvest loss        rice  
Received: 19 January 2020   Accepted:
Fund: This research is supported by the 2015 Special Scientific Research Project of Grain Public Welfare Industry, China (201513004-2), the research grant from the Murata Science Foundation, JSPS KAKENHI, Japan (JP19H03063), and the scholarship from China Scholarship Council (CSC201906350150).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence WU La-ping, E-mail:    
About author:  QU Xue, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

QU Xue, Daizo KOJIMA, Yukinaga NISHIHARA, WU La-ping, Mitsuyoshi ANDO. 2021. Can harvest outsourcing services reduce field harvest losses of rice in China?. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(5): 1396-1406.

Abass A B, Ndunguru G, Mamiro P, Alenkhe B, Mlingi N, Bekunda M. 2014. Post-harvest food losses in a maize-based farming system of semi-arid savannah area of Tanzania. Journal of Stored Products Research, 57, 49–57.
Basavaraja H, Mahajanashetti S B, Udagatti N C. 2007. Economic analysis of post-harvest losses in food grains in India: a case study of Karnataka. Agricultural Economics Research Review, 20, 117–126.
Begum M E A, Hossain M I, Papanagiotou E. 2013. Economic analysis of post-harvest losses in food-grains for strengthening food security in northern regions of Bangladesh. International Journal of Applied Research in Business Administration & Economics, 1, 56–65.
Bellemare M F, Cakir M, Peterson H H, Novak L, Rudi J. 2017. On the measurement of food waste. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 99, 1148–1158.
Cai R, Cai S K. 2014. Empirical research on agricultural production outsourcing: Based on the investigation of main rice producing areas in Anhui Province. Journal of Agrotechnical Economics, 4, 34–42. (in Chinese)
Chegere M J. 2018. Post-harvest losses reduction by small-scale maize farmers: The role of handling practices. Food Policy, 77, 103–115.
Emiliano L B, Thomas H. 2021. Global food waste across the income spectrum: Implications for food prices. Food Policy,  98, 101874.
FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization). 2011. Global Food Losses and Food Waste-Extent, Cause And Prevention. FAO, Rome, Italy.
Feng G, Sun C C. 2014. Segmented harvesting technology of cutter-rower of rice. Rural Science & Technology, (4), 10–11. (in Chinese)
Gao L W, Xu S W, Li Z M, Cheng S K, Yu W, Zhang Y E, Li D H, Wang Y, Wu C. 2016. Main grain crops postharvest losses and its reducing potential in China. Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 32, 1–11. (in Chinese)
Greeley M. 1982. Farm level post-harvest food losses: The myth of the soft third option. The IDS Bulletin, 13, 51–60.
Han J Z, Fan M, Huang H. 2007. An analysis of the factors affecting the loss of combine harvester. Modernizing Agriculture, (7), 34–35. (in Chinese)
Hodges R, Bernard M, Rembold F. 2014. APHLIS - Postharvest Cereal Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, Their Estimation, Assessment and Reduction. JRC Technical Report. Italy. [2021-1-5].
Hu Q P. 2017. Empirical study on farmers’ rice harvest losses and influencing factors. MSc thesis. Jiangnan University, China. (in Chinese)
Huang D, Yao L, Wu L P, Zhu X D. 2018. Measuring rice loss during harvest in China: Based on experiment and survey in five provinces. Journal of Natural Resources, 33, 1427–1438. (in Chinese)
Ibrahim H I, Saba S S, Ojoko E A. 2018. Post-harvest loss in rice production: Evidence from a rural community in northern Nigeria. FUDMA Journal of Sciences, 2, 17–22.
Kaminski J, Christiaensen L. 2014. Post-harvest loss in Sub-Saharan Africa - What do farmers say. Global Food Security, 3, 149–158.
Koenker R, Bassett G. 1978. Regression quantiles. Econometrica, 46, 33–50.
Li Z F, Xia P K, Wang Z H, Wan S Y, He Y. 1991. Analysis of the constitution of grain postproduction losses and the preventive measure. Journal of Zhejiang Agricultural University, 17, 52–58. (in Chinese)
Ma X H, Ma J L. 2007. How much of China’s rural labor force remains. Chinese Rural Economy, 12, 4–9, 34. (in Chinese)
MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of People’s Republic of China). 2008. Regional Layout Planning of National Superior Agricultural Products. China Agricultural Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China). 2018. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs promoted the upgrading of socialized services for agricultural machinery. [2021-1-5]. (in Chinese)
Martins A G, Goldsmith P, Moura A. 2014. Managerial factors affecting post-harvest loss: The case of Mato Grosso Brazil. International Journal of Agricultural Management, 3, 200–209.
NBSC (National Bureau of Statistics of China). 2017a. China Agricultural Machinery Industry Yearbook 2017. China Statistics Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
NBSC (National Bureau of Statistics of China). 2017b. China Statistical Yearbook 2017. China Statistics Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
Qiu Y F, Chang X Y. 2016. Research on agricultural machinery outsourcing service quality of agricultural production links - empirical analysis based on SERVQUAL model. Hubei Agricultural Sciences, 55, 2948–2954. (in Chinese)
Sadiya S, Hassan I. 2018. Post-harvest loss in rice: Causes, stages, estimates and policy implications. Agricultural Research & Technology, 15, 555964.
Sheahan M, Barrett C B. 2017. Review: Food loss and waste in Sub-Saharan Africa. Food Policy, 70, 1–12.
Simone B. 2019. A theory-based evaluation of food waste policy: Evidence from Italy. Food Policy, 88, 101747.
Tang Q, Wu C Y, Wang S Z, Zhang C W, Sun Y F. 2013. Research advances and prospects in cleaning device of grain. Journal of Agricultural Mechanization Research, 35, 225–228. (in Chinese)
Wang G M, Yi Z Y, Chen C, Cao G Q. 2016. Effect of harvesting date on loss component characteristics of rice mechanical harvested in rice and wheat rotation area. Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 32, 36–42. (in Chinese)
Wang Z G, Shen H F, Liao X Y. 2011. Agricultural scale management: Starting from outsourcing of production links: A case study of rice. Chinese Rural Economy, (9), 4–12. (in Chinese)
Wu L H, Hu Q P, Wang J H, Zhu D. 2017. Empirical analysis of the main factors influencing rice harvest losses based on sampling survey data of ten provinces in China. China Agricultural Economic Review, 9, 287–302.
Zhan Y R. 1995. Sampling survey and analysis of national grain post-harvest losses. Chian Grain Economy, (4), 44–77. (in Chinese)
Zhang Q C, Bao X D, Liu X Y. 2014. Analysis of rice cutter-rower in mountainous area of Guizhou. South China Agriculture, 8, 179–180. (in Chinese)
Zhang X, Yang J, Thomas R. 2017. Mechanization outsourcing clusters and division of labor in Chinese agriculture. China Economic Review, 43, 184–195. (in Chinese)
[1] GAO Peng, ZHANG Tuo, LEI Xing-yu, CUI Xin-wei, LU Yao-xiong, FAN Peng-fei, LONG Shi-ping, HUANG Jing, GAO Ju-sheng, ZHANG Zhen-hua, ZHANG Hui-min. Improvement of soil fertility and rice yield after long-term application of cow manure combined with inorganic fertilizers[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(7): 2221-2232.
[2] GAO Zhi-ping, XU Min-li, ZHANG Hai-zi, LÜ Chuan-gen, CHEN Guo-xiang. Photosynthetic properties of the mid-vein and leaf lamina of field-grown, high-yield hybrid rice during senescence[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(7): 1913-1926.
[3] TIAN Chang, SUN Ming-xue, ZHOU Xuan, LI Juan, XIE Gui-xian, YANG Xiang-dong, PENG Jian-wei. Increase in yield and nitrogen use efficiency of double rice with long-term application of controlled-release urea[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(7): 2106-2118.
[4] ZHOU Tian-yang, LI Zhi-kang, LI En-peng, WANG Wei-lu, YUAN Li-min, ZHANG Hao, LIU Li-jun, WANG Zhi-qin, GU Jun-fei, YANG Jian-chang. Optimization of nitrogen fertilization improves rice quality by affecting the structure and physicochemical properties of starch at high yield levels[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(6): 1576-1592.
[5] Christian Adler PHARES, Selorm AKABA. Co-application of compost or inorganic NPK fertilizer with biochar influenced soil quality, grain yield and net income of rice[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(12): 3600-3610.
[6] Muhammad Amjad BASHIR, ZHAI Li-mei, WANG Hong-yuan, LIU Jian, Qurat-Ul-Ain RAZA, GENG Yu-cong, Abdur REHIM, LIU Hong-bin. Apparent variations in nitrogen runoff and its uptake in paddy rice under straw incorporation[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(11): 3356-3367.
[7] HUANG Li-ying, Li Xiao-xiao, ZHANG Yun-bo, Shah FAHAD, WANG Fei. dep1 improves rice grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency simultaneously by enhancing nitrogen and dry matter translocation[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(11): 3185-3198.
[8] CHEN Zhong-du, LI Feng-bo, XU Chun-chun, JI Long, FENG Jin-fei, FANG Fu-ping. Spatial and temporal changes of paddy rice ecosystem services in China during the period 1980–2014[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(10): 3082-3093.
[9] CHEN Yun-feng, XIA Xian-ge, HU Cheng, LIU Dong-hai, QIAO Yan, LI Shuang-lai, FAN Xian-peng. Effects of long-term straw incorporation on nematode community composition and metabolic footprint in a rice–wheat cropping system[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(8): 2265-2276.
[10] LIN Fa-ming, LI Shen, WANG Ke, TIAN Hao-ran, GAO Jun-feng, DU Chang-qing. Receptor-like kinase OsASLRK regulates methylglyoxal response and content in rice[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(7): 1731-1742.
[11] SHI Min, Krishna P. PAUDEL, CHEN Feng-bo. Mechanization and efficiency in rice production in China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(7): 1996-2008.
[12] ZHANG Jing, ZHANG Yan-yan, SONG Ning-yuan, CHEN Qiu-li, SUN Hong-zheng, PENG Ting, HUANG Song, ZHAO Quan-zhi. Response of grain-filling rate and grain quality of mid-season indica rice to nitrogen application[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(6): 1465-1473.
[13] WU Qiong, WANG Yu-hui, DING Yan-feng, TAO Wei-ke, GAO Shen, LI Quan-xin, LI Wei-wei, LIU Zheng-hui, LI Gang-hua. Effects of different types of slow- and controlled-release fertilizers on rice yield[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(6): 1503-1514.
[14] ZHANG Chuan-hong, Wandella Amos BENJAMIN, WANG Miao. The contribution of cooperative irrigation scheme to poverty reduction in Tanzania[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(4): 953-963.
[15] Dilip Kumar BASTIA, Subrat Kumar BEHERA, Manas Ranjan PANDA . Impacts of soil fertility management on productivity and economics of rice and fodder intercropping systems under rainfed conditions in Odisha, India[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(12): 3114-3126.
No Suggested Reading articles found!