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Industries with unique features inject new momentum into local economy

By Li Jiaying | | Updated: 2023-12-26 21:54
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In the bustling season of harvest earlier this winter, the fields of Changyi, a county-level city in Shandong province, are adorned with a fruitful yield of reeds, signaling a prosperous year for local farmers.

Covering an impressive 3,000 mu (200 hectares), the reed fields have become a source of economic prosperity for local villagers in Changyi. The artistry of the locals transforms the tall reeds into a lucrative tool for income generation, as reed processing emerges as a distinctive industry driving the local economy.

"The reeds have grown well this year, and I've contracted 200 mu. The harvested reeds are mainly used to make reed curtains, and the income is quite good," said Li Hujun, a local villager and reed grower in Changyi.

As China continues on its path of advancing rural revitalization and boosting the modernization of the countryside in the year ahead, it will keep cultivating rural industries in a precise and pragmatic manner, improving the mechanism of connecting farmers with the market, and bringing about more moves to increase farmers' income and drive rural development, said the annual central rural work conference which was held in Beijing in December.

"The revitalization of industries is a top priority during the process of rural revitalization. We will focus on expanding the multi-functionality of agriculture, developing diverse values in rural areas, and pushing forward rural industries with unique features in the future," said Tang Renjian, minister of agriculture and rural affairs, in an earlier interview, adding that agricultural clusters with distinctive features and specialized products will have a key role to play.

The development of rural industries should be based on local resource advantages, bringing forth and giving full play to the distinctive characteristics of the region, said Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the rural development institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Throughout the year 2023, Changyi has strategically prioritized agricultural development as a key driver for fostering local economy's distinctive features. By leveraging unique agricultural resources, adjusting the agricultural industry structure, and promoting the development of specialized agricultural brands, the city is actively contributing to the high-quality growth of its agricultural sector.

"We aim to make industries with unique features the pillar industries that drive farmers' income growth by improving the quality and efficiency of agricultural supply. We are also consistently introducing policies that benefit and support new business operators and farmers in their industrial development, and providing additional subsidies to help them embrace modern agriculture," said Yan Wenzhi, head of Changyi's agriculture and rural affairs bureau.

In addition to these efforts, Changyi is also actively engaging in comprehensive education and training for farmers to enhance their overall capabilities. The objective is to cultivate farmers who are not only skilled in agriculture, but also possess cultural knowledge, technical expertise, good management skills and entrepreneurial acumen, said the local government.

To inject momentum and vitality into agricultural modernization, it is important to strengthen the driving forces of science and technology and reform, intensify efforts to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies, and improve work mechanisms for agriculture, rural areas and farmers, said the rural work conference.

To achieve this goal, the city is ramping up efforts to optimize its training and branding mechanism for farmers, through a series of educational activities focusing on improving planting skills, establishing agricultural product brands, and mastering marketing strategies.

A total of 2,432 individuals have completed high-quality farmer training so far, while 314 grassroots agricultural technicians have undergone specialized training, a testament to the city's commitment to creating a more sustainable and prosperous future for its agricultural communities, said the local government.

Currently, the county-level city has successfully applied for the recognition of 12 villages as provincially acknowledged villages with renowned brands, one town as a provincial-level strong agricultural township, and two provincial-level agricultural industrialization demonstration joint bodies.

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