China's State Tobacco Monopoly Administration is set to use the redundant labor from the crisis-hit manufacturing industries to expand China's tobacco farming. Up to 1 million workers will be hired.
"We will invest 40 billion yuan ($5.84 billion) for tobacco farmers to increase their acreage by 35 million mu (2.33 million hectares)," said Jiang Chengkang, an official with the national tobacco monopoly.
The weekly newspaper China Business Journal, quoted him as saying that as a reward to the farmers, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration "will increase the purchasing price for their tobacco leaves by 20 percent."
Some 27 billion yuan of investment has already been spent since 2005, largely in tobacco farming related infrastructure development.
The new infrastructure projects, particularly water works, can also benefit farmers in other ways, for example providing them with high quality drinking water, said Guang Boqian, an official with China National Tobacco Corporation, the sales arm of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.