Organization and profit-sharing in mechanized sugarcane harvesting: Is Australia's experience relevant to China?

Wegener, Malcolm and Yinggang, Ou (2015). Organization and profit-sharing in mechanized sugarcane harvesting: Is Australia's experience relevant to China?. In: Special Issue: 18th World Congress of CIGR. World Congress of CIGR, Beijing, China, (110-129). 16-19 September 2014.

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Author Wegener, Malcolm
Yinggang, Ou
Title of paper Organization and profit-sharing in mechanized sugarcane harvesting: Is Australia's experience relevant to China?
Conference name World Congress of CIGR
Conference location Beijing, China
Conference dates 16-19 September 2014
Convener CIGR
Proceedings title Special Issue: 18th World Congress of CIGR   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR e-journal   Check publisher's open access policy
Series World Congress of CIGR
Place of Publication Gainesville, FL, United States
Publisher International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
ISSN 1682-1130
Volume 2015
Issue Special Issue
Start page 110
End page 129
Total pages 20
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
China now grows about 1.5 million hectares of sugarcane and is the third largest sugar producer in the world. Almost all of that cane is still harvested by hand belabor in countryside areas has become more expensive and difficult to recruit. While the sugar mills prefer to crush the cleaner cane that manual harvesting delivers, some mills in areas where mechanical harvesting capacity has increased in recent years, have imposed restrictions on the quantity of machine cut cane that can be delivered each day. In the longer term, it is inevitable that the mills will have to accept a greater proportion of machine harvested cane.

It is therefore important that an institutional structure and operating rules to control the harvesting sector be developed as the transformation from manual to mechanized harvesting takes place in China to achieve the best possible outcome for the sugar industry.

Australia was the pioneering country that developed mechanized sugarcane harvesting but most of the organizational arrangements for mechanical harvesting of sugarcane were adapted from the manual cutting system that preceded mechanization. The cane payment system in Australia partly acknowledges the respective capital shares involved in the independent farms supplying cane and the mills which process it, and attempts to share revenue from sugar sales roughly in proportion to their respective historical capital investments.

When mechanical cane harvesting was introduced into the Australian industry, there was no attempt to recognize the capital investment of harvester operators as part of the whole supply chain. They have always been paid on a contract basis ($x per ton of cane harvested) which does not align the incentives for the harvester operator with the rest of the industry. 

The paper describes the Australian way of organizing cane harvesting and some international systems of cane payment and so that each farmer shares equitably in the proceeds of sugar sales. These payment systems all exclude harvester operators from taking a share of industry revenue.

Some suggestions that might help the Chinese industry avoid similar problems are discussed.
Keyword Business organization
Cane payment system
Revenue sharing
Sugarcane harvesting
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
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