Rural economy needs new impetus

Updated 2017-07-22 11:36:55 China Daily
Locals pose for a photo before welcoming participants at the Conference for the Revival of Chinese Villages in Taijiang county, Southwest China's Guizhou province, on June 16. (Photo by Hou Liqiang/chinadaily.com.cn)

Locals pose for a photo before welcoming participants at the Conference for the Revival of Chinese Villages in Taijiang county, Southwest China's Guizhou province, on June 16. (Photo by Hou Liqiang/chinadaily.com.cn)

The country needs to deepen reforms in rural areas to bring fresh impetus to the rural economy, which has seen growth rates slow, experts said after the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences published a report on Friday on China's rural development.

There has been a slowdown in farmers' income growth with the increase of agricultural costs, the decrease of job opportunities for migrant workers and the slowdown in the growth rate of land rights transfers, which hinders economies of scale, according to the report.

Per capita disposable income for rural residents increased by 6.2 percent in 2016. The growth rate was down by three percentage points from 2014. Over the same period, the growth rate of per capita disposable income for urban residents decreased by only 1.2 percentage points, said the report.

It also said wages, farmland operations and property income cover 40.6 percent, 38.4 percent and 2.2 percent of rural residents' per capita disposable income respectively.

In recent years, the rapid growth in agricultural costs has severely affected the competitiveness of China's grain in the international market and the industry's efficiency, said Professor Wei Houkai, lead author of the annual report.

In 2015, the average national cost of a hectare of rice, wheat or corn was 16,350 yuan (,410), more than double that in 2007, and the profit from some agricultural products, including corn, soybean and cotton, were negative, he said.

The low returns from agriculture has slowed the growth of land transfers since 2013. According to the report, rights for 31.4 million hectares of farmland were transferred from the owners to other operators in 2016, an increase of 1.8 percent year-on-year, far lower than the 4 percent growth experienced from 2012 to 2014.

The slowing growth of work opportunities for farmers in urban areas due to the sluggish economy and the reduced need for labor after industrial upgrading also affects farmers' wages, he said.

Many previous reforms are short-term ones meant to handle immediate problems and lack forward-looking and overall strategic consideration and system planning, said the report.

Ye Xingqing, head of the Agricultural Economy Department of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said new impetus for rural development depends on government policy.

Scaling up agricultural operations has been made possible by the departure of many farmers to urban areas, however, many of those remaining are either too old or not knowledgeable enough, said Ye, adding that the government needs to draft preferential policies to keep well-educated young farmers in agriculture.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58September 27 2017 02:13:50

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16September 27 2017 02:13:50

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18September 27 2017 02:13:50

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords