China’s State Council pledges to protect farmers, modernize agriculture

World Today

(CCTV News)

China issued a set of priorities for the year that would ensure food safety and modernize farms, while also raising the income of farmers.

The CPC’s Central Committee and the State Council issued what is known as the “No. 1 Central Document,” that focuses on agriculture and rural issues.

While the country’s harvests have increased for 11 consecutive years, the government felt it was necessary to reinforce the position of agriculture and raise farmer incomes as economic growth slows, the document said.

The document also said that the rising cost of agricultural production necessitates protective policies to increase local farming competitiveness.

Environmental damage was also a concern. Agricultural resources are scarce and suffer from over development resulting in environmental problems and creating challenges for the government in securing supply and ensuring safety.

Lastly, the document said it is necessary to increase resources at the city and village level and to narrow the income gap between urban and rural areas.

This blueprint mapped out five goals for rural China in 2015:

1. Modernizing agriculture
2. Raising farmers’ income
3. Improving infrastructure
4. Deepening land reforms
5. Strengthening rule of law in rural matters

The government will also set up innovation forums and encourage more college graduates to go to the countryside to teach farming skills. It would also support the study of genetically-modified food, and the safety concerns surrounding it.

The government will also narrow the gap between domestic and global food prices by using “modern methods” to improve productivity and subsidize agricultural products including grains, cotton, and sugar.