【摘要】本文在嵌入性的框架下, 以经济作物产品的产地交易市场为关注点, 考察村庄社会关系如何被卷入到地方市场的运作中, 以理解地方市场运作秩序的形成。通过对两个经济作物种植大县的实地调查, 研究发现, 销售中的“技术”门槛、小农户的小交易量与中间商大收购量的差距以及中间商人为制造的信息不对称等因素, 都可能造成小农户直接对接外来中间商的困难。因此, 在经济作物的地方市场上, 农产品经纪人往往是连接中间商和小农户的重要中介, 而经纪人推动二者交易的关键就在于其自身在村庄社会内部的关系资源。农产品经纪人在村庄社会的社会关系网, 是其帮助外来中间商寻找货源的基础;经纪人与村民的信任关系, 也能为外来中间商与小农户提供信任担保;更重要的是, 经纪人在村庄中的人情和面子, 不仅在化解外来中间商与小农户之间的矛盾中可以发挥关键作用, 还有助于外来中间商规避村庄社会对外人的“歧视”。在经纪人的社会关系资源润滑下, 外来中间商能够最快速地获取农产品信息、达成交易, 同时低成本地化解与本地小农户的矛盾, 从而将中间商与小农户之间不平等的市场关系、外人与“村庄‘自己人’”之间的利益对立, 化解在村庄社会的内部交往关系中, 进而保障地方市场的有序运行。
【基金资助】 国家社会科学基金青年项目“新型农业经营主体的村庄社会基础研究” (编号:17CSH071) ; 北京市社科基金青年项目“北京市农业产业化龙头企业与不同阶层农户的利益联结机制研究” (编号:16SRC029) 的资助;
Agricultural products brokers and trade of cash crops: a study on embeddedness of local market
【Abstract】By a theoretical framework of embeddedness, this paper focused on the operation of local market for cash crops and explored how rural social relations were involved in local trade to interpret the formation of market order. By fieldwork in two cash crop-producing counties, we found that various obstructions prevented middlemen from trading directly with small producers. The technical barriers in marketing, a wide gap of trading volume between small producers and middlemen, and information asymmetry caused intentionally by middlemen could all result in failures of trade between middlemen and direct producers. As a result, the rural social resources of agricultural commodity brokers as middlemen agents could well help trade. The rural social networks of these brokers enabled them to find proper suppliers soon, whereas trust of fellow villagers allowed them to guarantee whenever necessary. Moreover, their renqing (favor) and mianzi (face) in the rural community could not only help to resolve conflicts between middlemen and small producers but also allow the former as outsiders of the village to avoid prejudice. As a matter of fact, the brokers’ rural social resources, functioning as lubricant, help them to trade with small producers at a low cost, solve the conflicts between the two parties within the social relations between brokers and their fellow villagers, and guarantee a good order of local market.
【Keywords】 broker; middleman; cash crop; local market; embeddedness;
【Funds】 Youth Project of the National Social Science Fund of China (17CSH071); Youth Project of Social Science Foundation of Beijing (16SRC029);
. ① We chose the two cash crops because ginger has storage stability and winter jujubes as fresh fruit could not be preserved for long. The difference between the two agricultural products also causes other differences in the circulation, so this study examined the local markets for the two agricultural products. However, in general, the difference is secondary, but the logic and mechanism of the two are generally consistent. [^Back]
. ① The agent means the local broker. A middleman from any other region, when coming to purchase winter jujubes, usually stays at the home of any broker who helps the merchant to buy, bargain, and so on. Meanwhile, the merchant pays some rewards to the broker, known as agent fees. [^Back]
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