The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council jointly released the Document No. 1 on 21 February 2021. This year’s Document No. 1 is in line with China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) for 2021-2025 and economic goals set out to 2035. This document is entitled “Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Comprehensively Promoting Rural Revitalization and Accelerating Agricultural and Rural Modernization”. The document includes five major sections and 26 paragraphs and clearly lists the targets and tasks concerning agriculture and rural areas for 2021, as well as a broader vision for the period up to 2025.
Major highlights of 2021 Document No. 1 are the following:
- Poverty alleviation: The Document No. 1 proposes that after the completion of the poverty alleviation goals and tasks in 2020, a five-year transition period will be established for counties who have escaped poverty from the date of poverty alleviation. The achievement of poverty alleviation will be solidified. The document requires that during the transition period, overall stability of the current main assistance policies will be maintained in order to achieve the transition from poverty alleviation to comprehensive promotion of rural revitalization. During this period, social assistance to farmers will be continued.
- Rural revitalization: Improvements in overall functions of the village like rural road constructions, rural drinking water infrastructure, rural sanitation, clean toilet initiatives, rural digitalization. By 2025, running drinking water coverage in rural areas will be increased to 88%. By 2025, 500 modernized agricultural demonstration zones will be established. Following the given plan, the modernization of agriculture and rural areas will reach significant progress by 2025 and construction of rural infrastructure and modernization will be basically completed. The digital rural development will be intensified by further expansion of 5G, mobile and internet-based logistics.
- Food security: Functional grain production zones and important agricultural zones should be constructed, and a national food security production belt should be established. The document emphasized to hold the “red line” of 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectare) of cropland for food security and aims to build 100 million mu (6,6million hectare) of high-quality farmland to ensure high yields and stable production through 2021. The use of farmland for “non- agricultural” purposes and conversion of croplands to production of nongrain crops should be curbed and strictly controlled. Overall food grain production will be kept above 650 million tons. Farmers’ income will be doubled from 2010 level. The policy system in which provincial governors are responsible for food security and municipal mayors are responsible for the “vegetable basket” will be implemented and continued. The policy to guarantee minimum prices for grain and wheat will be continued, corn and soy bean will continue to enjoy subsidy policy. Experimental zones for testing cost and income insurance systems for grain, wheat, and corn will be established and expanded. To optimize agricultural trade, agricultural import diversification will be implemented and companies’ entrance into the global agricultural supply chain will be supported.
- Seed and breeding: Development and utilization of agricultural seed sources should be strengthened. Implementation of major scientific and technological projects in agricultural biological breeding will be sped up. Support leading enterprises in the seed industry to establish and improve commercial breeding systems, accelerate the construction of the so-called “Southern Silicon Valley”, strengthen the construction of seed production bases and improved seed breeding systems, study major varieties of research and development and post-promotion subsidy policies, and promote the integrated development of breeding.
- Animal husbandry and meat sector: Reliable pork production will be sustained, lamb and beef sector will be actively developed, and the milk sector will be revitalized.