Reforms vastly improve rural land usage rights transfers in China

World Today

Land is one of the most important things a farmer needs to do his or her job, and with more people migrating to cities, more land is becoming available. This has led the Chinese government to make important changes to rural land usage rights.

CGTN’s Li Jianhua reports.

The Wuhan Comprehensive Rural Equity Exchange is the largest agricultural property exchange market in China. Each day, the exchange handles over 1,000 rural land transfer.

The process works like this: A farmer plans to work in an urban area, and doesn’t want his land to go unused.  The farmer can list his land management rights on the exchange platform and transfer them to someone who needs to use land. The farmer earns an income by doing so.

This policy, however, wasn’t implemented nationwide until 2013, when President Xi Jinping paid a visit to the Wuhan Comprehensive Rural Equity Exchange.

“President Xi debriefed and affirmed our reports on the initial research on transferring rural land,” according to General Manager Sun Xiaoyan. “He asked us to further discuss the position of land management rights.

Xi also asked about ensuring crop security and protecting farmers’ personal rights.

“He asked me whether people’s livelihoods had been raised. I said yes,” Zheng Xiankui of the Wuhan Yiqun Agricultural Science and Technology company said. “Because the rural working forces have been liberated.

Three months later, when the Party Central Commission met, it acknowledged the farmers’ rights over land management. The Central Government then officially released files, separating the ownership, contract, and management rights of farmland.

With this policy clarification, financing of rural land problems have been solved.

“I think President Xi has exactly grasped the key factor of the reform, which is just like untying a knot,” Sun explained. “When you untie the key point, the following thread of issues will then be solved accordingly.”

Over the past 4 years, the transaction scale of the Wuhan Rural Area Exchange has doubled, with the total transferred acreage surpassing about 850 square kilometers.

Over 70 million farmers have transferred their land, covering more than 30 percent of the total contracted area.