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Farmers prepared to reap benefits from land reform

Updated: 2013-12-04 09:26
By Wang Zhenghua in Anhui province and He Na in Beijing ( China Daily)

Farmers prepared to reap benefits from land reform

A farmer shows off his produce in Xiaogang village, Anhui province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Double income

Guo Zefeng, deputy chief of Fengyang's land and resources bureau, said it's crucial that the land-rights transfer system is adopted soon to aid the development of the agricultural sector. His department has encouraged the transfer of rights from farmers to professional farming companies.

"The rights to some 2,533 hectares of farmland have been transferred since the Fengyang Rural Land Transfer Trading Center was established. The center provides information on both the demand for, and supply of, land and helps to standardize the transfer process. That can prevent the sorts of disputes that can arise from oral consent or unofficial agreements," he said.

The nonprofit center, which offers its services to farmers free of charge, also provides accurate geodetic surveys of land to be transferred and ensures that the new rights holders do not use it for non-agricultural purposes.

The initiative has seen a large number of competitive groups spring up in Fengyang, according to Guo. The Huiyuan cooperative, which rents the rights to 87 hectares of land from 285 rural households in Guantang township, grows marigolds for sale in the nation's flower markets and employs around 400 local people. Meanwhile, the Xinke cooperative plants Chinese herbs on the land it rents from 31 households in Fengyang's Wudian township, earning annual revenue of 5 million yuan ($815,000) and employing 150 workers.

The program has already proved beneficial to some rural residents. Wang Jiayi, 61, a Dawangfu resident, is one of the main breadwinners for his family of five. He lives with his wife and a grandson in the village, while his son and daughter-in-law are migrant workers who live and work in a nearby city.

Several years ago, Wang leased the rights to 0.065 hectares to a cooperative, which specializes in greenhouse vegetables, for about 600 yuan per year, and earns an extra 1,000 yuan a month tending broccoli, peppers and other vegetables for the cooperative. He and his wife also work 0.2 hectares of land independently and can earn as much as 3,600 yuan a year by cultivating wheat and rice.