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Seven Chinese Ministries Released a Circular to Foster Rural Digitalization through Pilot Work
Prof. Liu Yonggong
Advisor of Agribusiness Dialogue (DCZ)
22 July 2020
As a follow-up action for implementing the State Council’s 2020 No.1 Document, Outline of Digital Rural Development Strategy and Key Works of Digital Rural Development in 2020, on 18 July 2020, seven Chinese ministries, i.e. Cyberspace Administration of China, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Industry and Informatics, et al, jointly released a Circular on Conducting National Rural Digitalization Pilot Work.
The circular points out that the rural digitalization is an important component of the national digitalization strategy, and at the same time, it is also an important action to achieve the goals set by agricultural and rural modernization and rural revitalization strategies. It is also a countermeasure to narrow the existing digital gap between urban and rural regions.
The official document underpinned seven key areas for implementing the pilot work:
- Comprehensive digital rural development planning. The document urges that county level digital development planning should be based on the national digital rural development strategy and the concrete needs of county rural revitalization strategy.
- Improve rural ICT infrastructures. The circular highlights the improvement of fundamental information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures, such as rural optical fiber broadband, mobile communication facilities, digital TV network, 4G and 5G service networks, which will support the application of smart agriculture, smart rural environmental management, smart natural resource management and smart logistics management, etc.
- Foster the development of rural digital economy. Transform the traditional agriculture to digital and smart agriculture, accelerate the smart-production, smart farm management, internet-based market management, and digitalized product quality monitoring and supervision, etc.
- Pilot the digitalized rural governance and public service. Promote the digitalization of rural community governance, improve the level of rural epidemic early warning and public emergency response system through digitalization. Promote the development of the “Internet+governance”services in rural communities.
- Further improve rural information service system. Develop ICT products, APPs and Software based on the information needs of farmers and rural communities, such as “Internet+ medical services”, digitalized community public service system, such as cultural service, education services, etc.
- Improve ICT resource and infrastructure synergetic integration mechanisms. Strengthen the overall coordination and cooperation among county level governmental line agencies for effectively integrating and sharing information resources, infrastructures, financial resources, human resources, etc;
- Pilot sustainable development mechanisms of rural digitalization. Integrate “Internet+Poverty Reduction”with Rural Digitalization and construct a digitalized rural development model which is matching the knowledge and competence of rural people. Establish county level entrepreneurship and innovation promotion centers through the involvement of agricultural research and educational institutions and agricultural enterprises. Training of village leaders on the effective use of ICT technologies, provision of technical training to home-returned migrant workers and home-returned university graduates can enhance their entrepreneurship and farm management ability.