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China to pass law on agricultural mechanization
Updated: 2004-06-23 13:02

A draft law on promoting agricultural mechanization are expected to be passed at the ongoing meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

The eight-chapter draft, which was first submitted for examination in February, includes 35 articles, mainly on agricultural machine development and research, quality control and expansion of usage of advanced machines, preferential financial policies, and related social service for agricultural mechanization.

The draft has received almost consensus of the NPC Law Committee, which suggested that it be passed at the meeting, said Wang Maolin, vice chairman of the NPC Law Committee, in his report to the meeting.

During the first deliberation, many members of the NPC Standing Committee expressed their support for the draft, but suggested that some concrete preferential policies be added for agricultural mechanization.

After deliberations, the draft was distributed to all provincial governments, related central departments, enterprises and institutes for them to comment. The NPC Law Committee held a joint seminar with other related departments to discuss the draft and sent four special survey groups to Heilongjiang, Jilin, Hubei and Hunan provinces, all of them are major grain producers.

Having considered the comments from all parties, the NPC Law Committee made a comprehensive revision of the draft, which became more concrete on the supporting policies for agricultural mechanization, said Wang Maolin.

During the on-going deliberation, many members of the NPC Standing Committee expressed their satisfaction with the revision. Some of them hoped that the supporting clauses and the responsible departments could be more clear and specific.

Agricultural mechanization is crucial to accelerating economic development in rural areas and increasing farmers' income, and it eagerly needs the state's legal guarantee and policy support, said Liu Mingzu, chairman of the NPC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, in Monday's group discussion.

Now the average mechanization rate in farming and harvesting is only about 30 percent in China. The agricultural machines are mainly used in grain production, but are still far from popular in cash crop production, animal husbandry and especially in storing, keeping fresh and processing of agricultural products.

The Chinese central government has publicized some documents promising to increase investment in rural areas and offer subsidies to farmers for buying agricultural machines.

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