Original title: New Oriental’s corn sells for 6 yuan per root, but why are farmers still not making money?
New Oriental’s corn sells for 6 yuan per root, but why are farmers still not making money?
Recently, a “Northeast Yellow Glutinous Corn” brought by New Oriental has become popular. This is the third self-operated product selected by Dongfang. It is said that it was sold out on the day it was launched. However, some netizens questioned that the “6 yuan of corn” in the live broadcast room is too expensive.
In this regard, the anchor Dong Yuhui responded that “low grains hurt farmers”. If something is completely unprofitable, there will be fewer and fewer people farming in rural areas, so the price cannot be too low.
In fact, in some physical supermarkets, there are many corns that are more expensive than 6 yuan, and some corns even sell for more than 10 yuan. However, some corn growers told China News Weekly that the actual purchase price of a corn in the field is only a few cents, and the income is even less, and there may be losses if you are a little careless.
So, corn is so expensive, why are farmers still not making money?
A corn yields less than 2 cents
The corn brought by New Oriental is produced in Jilin, my country. Statistics show that Jilin Province is the largest corn-producing province in my country, with corn production accounting for 14% of the country’s total. It is located in the world’s “Golden Corn Belt”. The warm climate and fertile land have created an excellent corn growing environment. Among them, Gongzhuling has been named “Hometown of Corn in China” by the China Grain Industry Association.
But what really makes this corn out of the circle is not the taste, but the price – 6 yuan a piece. Some netizens questioned that the “6 yuan of corn” in the live broadcast room is too expensive. In this regard, the anchor Dong Yuhui responded that “low grains hurt farmers”. If something is completely unprofitable, there will be fewer and fewer people farming in rural areas, so the price cannot be too low.
In fact, the price of New Oriental corn at 6 yuan/root is not the highest compared with similar fresh corn products. China News Weekly found in a supermarket in Beijing that the price of 1.5 kg (6 pieces) of rock sugar corn from Xishuangbanna, Yunnan is 45.8 yuan, equivalent to 7.6 yuan per root; another so-called organic sweet and crisp corn, a piece (350 grams) the price is as high as 11.9 yuan.
So did farmers really increase their income because of this?
Gao Junyi is a big corn grower in Gongzhuling, Jilin Province. Last year, he contracted 3,000 mu of corn land, and the yield per mu of land was about 1,000-1,200 jin (2,000 roots of corn).
There is also Zhang Tiezheng who empathizes with Gao Junyi. As the head of the Tiezheng Rice Planting Cooperative in Wuchang City, Heilongjiang, Zhang Tiezheng is also a Douyin agricultural product leader. His account @jiangtiangudao has 2.67 million followers. This year, Zhang Tiezheng contracted 2,000 mu of cornfield, which can produce about 2.5 million cornrows, and the price of each cornrow is about 8 cents.
In his own live broadcast room, the price of 12 cornrows is 43 yuan, “but the profit is actually only 5 yuan, and it is only 40 cents per cornrow.”
Whether it is New Oriental’s 6 yuan corn or 11.9 yuan organic corn, the price is much higher than the purchase price in the field. So the question is, where does the profit in the middle go?
Low profit and high cost
Song Lifang, an e-commerce teacher at Beijing Agricultural Vocational College, has been engaged in rural e-commerce training for many years. According to her observation, e-commerce has developed rapidly in recent years, and many places have also put agricultural products on e-commerce platforms to sell, but the actual benefits that farmers get are actually limited.
First, the price of agricultural products fluctuates greatly, and most farmers cannot obtain stable income; second, farmers lack the equipment and channels to transport agricultural products and cannot directly connect with consumers, so they must rely on the power of middlemen.
“In this case, farmers are in a relatively weak position and are at the lower end of the industrial chain, so they often get the least profit.” Song Lifang pointed out.
Zhang Tiezheng told China News Weekly as an example, the sales chain of agricultural products is relatively long, and there are many links in the middle from the field to the consumer’s table. Taking corn as an example, farmers have to go through the steps of peeling, screening, cleaning, sterilization, packaging, warehousing, transportation, and sales after harvesting. If the farmer is simply planting, he may not be able to participate in the following links, and the natural benefits have nothing to do with him.
As early as March 14, 2012, a report in the “Farmer’s Daily” pointed out that “the price of cabbage has risen 10 times from the field to the supermarket, and the logistics cost accounts for half”. After four or five circulation links, each link has contamination, loading and unloading, transportation, personnel costs, capital costs, profits, etc.”
Another authoritative agricultural expert has done statistics. In the entire agricultural industry chain, farmers’ investment accounted for about 55%, but only got 22% of the return; the middle distributors invested about 24%, but took about 60%. return.
So, why don’t farmers act as anchors to bring goods and keep the profits? Song Lifang said that it is not easy to do this. In her opinion, for ordinary farmers, the skill threshold of e-commerce live broadcast is higher, and it is not as easy as talking.
On the contrary, the farmers who are currently engaged in agricultural production are generally aging, their education level is not high, their management concepts are backward, and their management is poor. There are very few anchors.
Gao Junyi tried to bring goods live by himself last year, but the effect was very unsatisfactory. “Facing the camera, I don’t know what to talk about, and there are very few people watching, sometimes only a dozen people.” After testing the water for a month, Gao Junyi sold a total of 10,000 yuan, but express delivery, The cost of packaging, warehousing, and logistics exceeds the above-mentioned income, which is a loss.
While the profits are not shared, the cost of agricultural production is rising all the way. Gao Junyi told China News Weekly that in 2021, the prices of pesticides and fertilizers will rise sharply, and the average cost of growing grains will increase by about 100 yuan per mu, offsetting some of the gains from rising grain prices. As a result, the low income of farmers is not difficult to imagine.
How can farmers make money?
As the saying goes, “well-off is not well-off, the key depends on fellow villagers”, so how can we effectively increase the income of farmers?
Fundamentally speaking, if farmers want to make profits from farming, they must achieve the right approach to production and sales.
Lin Guofa, research director of Brick·Agricultural Shopping Network, said that for a long time, the difficulty in selling agricultural products has been a major bottleneck for farmers to increase their income. Due to the narrow channels for receiving information, the information received by farmers is often fragmented and delayed. More often, the varieties and quantities produced by farmers are determined by personal experience.
As a result, the phenomenon of excess production and increasing production but not increasing income has occurred from time to time, and even the price of small agricultural products represented by “garlic you are cruel”, “jiang youjun”, “beans you play” and so on is like a roller coaster phenomenon, causing farmers to lose money very bad.
In addition, the scattered planting form of one household determines its own limited output, which makes it difficult to form a scale effect, and has no right to speak to the “vegetable sellers” and lack of pricing power.
“Therefore, agricultural planting should be adjusted to the logic of planting whatever is sold, so that production can be determined according to needs, and money can be made by following the market.” In Lin Guofa’s view, developing contract farming is the way out. Enterprises have a more accurate grasp of market demand and stronger anti-risk capabilities. By signing contracts with farmers, they can produce products with more market prospects in a targeted manner. For farmers, contract farming can set production due to needs, and the market price is guaranteed, which eliminates the worry of “not being able to sell after planting”.
“In other words, big planters can get relatively stable income as long as they plant the land well, increase production and improve quality.”
Song Lifang also added that in order to effectively control the pricing power of agricultural products in the hands of farmers, there must be a professional organization based on the local area, so that the production and sales of local agricultural products can not only meet the market demand, but also reduce the impact of intermediate channels on the profits of agricultural products. segmentation. The cooperative model of “production, supply and sales” is conducive to the formation of large-scale planting and can improve certain bargaining power.
In my country, corn, rice and wheat are called the three major staple grains, among which corn yields the largest. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, my country’s corn production will reach 272.552 million tons in 2021, an increase of 11.8868 million tons compared with 2020, a year-on-year increase of 4.56%. However, considering the supply and demand situation comprehensively, there is a certain gap between production and demand in the domestic corn market, because the value of corn lies not only in rations, but also in feed grains.
Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the Institute of Rural Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that from the perspective of corn consumption structure, the downstream consumption of corn mainly includes feed consumption, industrial consumption and food consumption. “Because corn is the main ingredient for feed, feed consumption is the main source of corn demand.”
According to the data, feed consumption in corn consumption in 2020 will account for 71%; followed by industrial consumption, which is made into processed products such as corn starch, which will be further processed into starch, alcohol, citric acid and other products, accounting for about 24%; Other consumption such as food accounts for a very small proportion, about 5%.
In recent years, with the development of my country’s animal husbandry, corn consumption has been increasing, and it is no longer self-sufficient. According to customs data, my country’s corn imports in 2021 will nearly triple from the previous year, reaching 28.35 million tons, a record high and accounting for more than one-tenth of the country’s total corn production. This has also led to a further increase in the cost of food imports in my country.
Li Guoxiang pointed out that farmers are the main force in grain production. Only by making farmers profitable can the national food security be guaranteed.
Author: Yu Yuan