The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently announced the list of typical cases of national agricultural socialization services in 2023, and a number of agricultural service enterprises are among them. From the name analysis, some are agricultural technology companies, some are agricultural enterprises, and some are directly agricultural service companies.

More and more agribusinesses are entering the field of agricultural services. Beidahuang Group regards agricultural socialization services as a "second venture", and has set up 23 regional agricultural service centers across the country to independently develop a one-stop digital agricultural service platform. Sinochem Agriculture has created a MAP model to provide customers with whole-process planting solutions through the construction of technical service centers and demonstration farms.

In addition to large-scale agricultural enterprises, a large number of agricultural enterprises, agricultural science and technology companies and other types of agriculture-related enterprises and even Internet platforms and other industrial and commercial enterprises are also relying on the original technology, equipment, channels, information advantages, to take "agricultural materials + services" and "technology + services" and other ways to expand to the agricultural service industry. These enterprises are involved in agricultural pre-production, production, and post-production, covering comprehensive agricultural services such as agricultural material supply, technology integration, agricultural machinery operations, and online and offline docking, focusing on the combination of technology and materials, and the combination of technology and services.

Why open up a new track of agricultural services?

There is a market demand. In many countries, the number of people engaged in agricultural socialization services exceeds the number of people directly engaged in agricultural production. In China, the agricultural service industry is a sunrise industry with broad development space. Experts predict that during the "5th Five-Year Plan" period, the added value of the agricultural socialized service industry will exceed <> trillion yuan. Taking the layout of agricultural services as an example, through the development of services in the fields of plant protection, seeds, fertilizers, etc., not only can the corresponding income be obtained, but also all kinds of downstream farmers can be quickly reached, and related products can be sold while providing agricultural services.

There is a policy push. Since 2017, the central government has arranged special transfer payment funds to support socialized agricultural production services. This year, the No. <> document of the central government proposes to implement the promotion of agricultural socialized services, vigorously develop socialized services such as substitution farming, escrow and collection, and whole-process trusteeship, and encourage the construction of regional comprehensive service platforms. At present, many localities have provided corresponding support to service entities through government procurement of services, subsidies for operation volume, and construction of public platforms. This is undoubtedly a reassuring pill for companies that were interested in entering the game but were worried.

There is an industrial base. The service link is the core link of the value-added of the agricultural industry chain, but most of the traditional farmers or family farms do not have the conditions, while agricultural enterprises have the advantages of capital, technology, information and other advantages, and are the effective subjects to provide such services. In essence, agricultural services are the only way to divide labor and industry, and its basic logic lies in letting professional enterprises do professional things.

As more enterprises enter the field of agricultural services, it is inevitable to seek differentiated competition. Focusing on the market, relevant enterprises should gradually extend from providing in-production services to pre-production, post-production links and supporting services, and continuously improve the coverage rate. Strengthen cooperation with service stakeholders, innovate cooperation mechanisms, and carry out model promotion and market expansion on a larger scale. In addition, digital agricultural clothing has become a new trend, and qualified enterprises may wish to try to attract customers with the advantages of hardware and lock customers with the advantages of software through the combination of software and hardware.

Qiao Jinliang

(Economic Times)