Studies in Regional Science
Online ISSN : 1880-6465
Print ISSN : 0287-6256
ISSN-L : 0287-6256
Determinants of Farm Diversification in Peri-Urban Agriculture: Spatial Econometric Analysis with Municipality-Level Data from the Kanto Region
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2019 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 17-31


  To commercialize multi-functionalities of urban agriculture, many urban farmers have diversified their businesses. While the importance of labors for farm diversification are recognized, the quantitative studies on them are insufficient. In addition, the spatial location of farmers affects the farmers’ decision making about farm diversification through the spillover effect of knowledge sharing among farmers. The objective of this study is to clarify the effects of successors, female labors and employees on farm diversification in peri-urban areas by means of the spatial auto-regression model.

  The cross-sectional dataset was obtained from municipality-level data of 2015 Census of Agriculture and Forestry. All sample areas are in whole Kanto Region. Several measurements of the farm diversification are used. As targeted independent variables, the proportion of farmers with nominated successors (Successor Rate), the proportion of farmers with part-time and full-time employees (Part-time Rate and Full-time Rate), and the proportion of female farm labors to total farm labors (Female Labor Rate) are included.

  As a result, the spatial lags of farm diversification measures are partly positive. Second, the regression coefficients of targeted independent variables are mostly positive. On the other hand, while Successor Rate, Female Labor Rate and Part-time Rate have positive effects, Full-time negatively affects farm diversification. Lastly, according to the geographically weighted regression model, the regression coefficients of targeted independent variables are spatially heterogeneous.

  In conclusion, this study suggests that various labor forces are required to promote farm diversification in peri-urban agriculture. Furthermore, the areas may have spillover effect on each other. Accordingly, as a promotion model for farm diversification, it is needed to facilitate the social networks between farmers. At the same time, to promote more diverse businesses, the employment by farmers should be supported.

JEL Classifications:Q13, R12

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© 2019 by The Japan Section of the Regional Science Association International
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