China / Society

China maps out agricultural consolidation plan

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-18 09:28

China maps out agricultural consolidation plan

A farmer collects the rice crop from a reaping machine in a village in Fenghuang township, Guangxi, Oct 17, 2014.

BEIJING -- China is rolling out a major rural land reform which aims to promote large-scale farming and consolidate unused small patches of farm land under larger cooperatives.

The reform scheme comes as China is experiencing a continuing process of industrialization and urbanization, in which more farmers are migrating to cities for jobs, leaving behind their contracted farm lands over which they have use rights.

"More and more farmers see agriculture as a secondary job. Some farmers no longer attach importance to growing crops as they used to. Some lands are even left unattended," Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu said in an interview with Xinhua on Friday.

The transition has triggered rising concerns over food security facing the world's most populous country.

The key solution is to promote the concentrated use of farm lands, nurture diversified agricultural businesses, and ensure that agriculture is also a profitable business, Han said, adding that the reform plan, which has been reviewed and passed by the central authorities, will be an important policy guide for rural land reforms and agriculture management.

"The transfer of rural land use rights as well as concentrated agricultural development is a significant issue for China's rural development. It is also a key agenda in China's deepening of rural reforms," he said.

According to government data, the number of Chinese migrant workers from rural regions in 2013 reached almost 270 million, which accounted for 45 percent of the total work force in rural areas. Meanwhile, 170 million migrant workers spent more than six months outside their hometowns last year.

Han said rural land transfer has also sped up in recent years. As of the end of June this year, 380 million mu (25 million hectares) of rural arable land had been transferred, which accounted for 28.8 percent of the nation's total contracted arable land by farmers, up 20 percentage points compared to year 2008.

"As more lands are transferred, farmers who remain in the fields have more land to manage. This creates an opportunity for them to introduce advanced agricultural technologies and equipment, paving the way for modern agriculture," according to the minister.

At the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee held last November, Chinese leaders encouraged circulation of land use rights on the open market, nurturing of diversified agricultural business models and new players in agriculture, on the basis of concentrated, professional and organized use of rural lands.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Hot Topics