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China released No. 1 Central Document to prioritize agricultural and rural development in 2019
by Juan Marquardt
On 19 February 2019, Xinhua News Agency released China’s No.1 Document entitled “On the Issues of Prioritizing Agricultural and Rural Development and Perfecting ‘San Nong’ Work1”. The Document was jointly issued by CPC Central Committee and the State Council on 3 January 2019. The document stressed the special importance of “San Nong Work” in the context of increasing pressure of economic slow-down and the changing domestic and international environment. “San Nong Work” is described as “ballast stone”, the weight which provides stability to a ship when it is without cargo, for a healthy and sustainable social and economic development in the country.
The document highlighted following priority areas:
Eliminating rural poverty through accurate targeting the rural poor: to lift all its rural residents living below current poverty line out of poverty and eliminate absolute poverty in all poor counties and regions by the end of 2020. Areas and communities of extreme poverty will be given priority in national poverty alleviation programs. As main countermeasures to reduce poverty the document mentions local industrial development in order to increase household income, resettlement of villages with harsh living environment and poor social infrastructures, ecological construction, financing services; improving social services in the poor communities, such as education, medical services, social security, etc.;
Further consolidating the foundation of agriculture to ensure the effective supply of important agricultural products: stabilizing the crop production and ensuring that the cultivated area is maintained at 1.65 billion mu (110 million hectares) and arable land area at 1.8 billion mu, as well as ensuring 800 million mu of high-standard farmland by 2020; optimizing agricultural structure, supporting the production of green agricultural products or products in high demands, such as soybean and other oil crops, dairy industry; developing and applying key technologies and facilities, such as breeding high quality and high yield varieties, introducing large agricultural machines, smart agriculture and green agricultural technologies and production inputs; ensuring the supply of important agriculture products, particularly stabilizing the production of rice, wheat and maize, cotton, oil crops, sugar and rubber;
Promoting rural construction and improving rural public services: the countermeasures include improving village housing conditions; implementing village infrastructure programs; strengthening village public services such as education, health care, social security, elderly care and culture; controlling rural pollution and protecting the rural ecological environment;
Fostering development of rural industries and expanding channels to increase the income of farmers: developing agro-industries with local characteristics, modernizing agricultural product processing, improving new rural services, implementing rural digitalization strategy, improving employment services and vocational training to promote the employment of the rural labor force and increase their incomes; supporting rural workers who returned home to start business in their hometowns, encouraging college graduates, veterans and urban personnel to start and develop their agro-businesses in rural areas, and establishing business promotion platforms to support rural entrepreneurship development;
Deepening rural and agricultural reform: promoting the development of new business management modalities and production organizational structures, such as the model of “enterprise + cooperatives + individual household”, family-based agricultural farms, etc.; further reforming the land tenure system and consolidating the long-term land property rights, ensuring and extending 30 years land contract terms; reforming the village collective property institutions and strengthening the collective estate and property management mechanism; establishing and improving agricultural and rural social service system, such as rural financial services, agricultural insurance, agricultural extension services, etc.;
Improving the rural governance mechanism to maintain rural social harmonization and stability. Major countermeasures include: strengthening the community governance capacity; improving the governance structures, ensure the villager’s self-governance mechanism; implementing rural community social spiritual and cultural development programs, etc.;
Strengthening the administrative and service capacity of governmental and party organizations to provide more effective policy and capacity building services and supports to rural communities to facilitate community governance and development affairs;
Strengthening the party and governmental leadership in rural development. Enhancing the party and governmental capacity and leadership, functions and responsibilities in pursuing the goal of agricultural and rural development. Specific mandates, responsibilities and tasks will be clearly designated to party secretary, governmental officials and public service agents at all administrative levels. Ensuring the integrated financial investment, public resources, administrative and policy supports will be given to agricultural and rural development and remain as long term strategic priorities.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2019-02/19/c_1210063174.htm (full text in Chinese)
www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-02/19/c_137834577.htm (Xinhua report in English)
1 ‘San Nong’, the “3 rural issues” refers to: Agriculture, Farmers and Rural Areas