China to promote household forestry contract
Updated: 2008-07-14 20:25

China is set to promote a household contract system in the management of collective forestry land and ownership of wood nationwide. This is seen as an important reform to boost the enthusiasm of farmers and increase their income.

It was recognized as another milestone in the country's transformation of rural relationship of production after it adopted the system for collective farmland more than two decades ago.

In the reform, production and management of forestry would be entrusted to farmers through 70-year contracts, while the nature of collective ownership should remain unchanged, according to a State Council statement on Monday.

The reform would get farmers more involved in the planting and growing of trees, inspire their production initiative, increase their income and promote a conservation culture, it said.

The system has been implemented in Fujian, Jiangxi, Liaoning and Zhejiang provinces since 2003, with 878 million mu (58.5 million hectares) of collective forestry land contracted to farmers.

The trial has turned into a win-win situation -- farmers were getting richer and the forests received better protection.

China has 2.55 billion mu of forest land under collective ownership, accounting for 60 percent of the country's total. More than half of its population are living in these lands.

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