More than 5.7 million rural Chinese have returned from cities to their hometowns to startup businesses, Vice Minister of Agriculture Chen Xiaohua said Thursday.
Among them, 4.5 million people are rural migrant workers who used to work in urban areas away from home, while the rest are mainly fresh graduates and retired soldiers who left home for education or service, Chen said at a press briefing.
Meanwhile, rural China has attracted 1.3 million urban people, including scientists and technicians, from their homes in cities to participate in rural entrepreneurship, Chen said.
The data was released after the government released a set of guidelines earlier this week encouraging people to explore business opportunities in the countryside.
By rolling out a number of new support policies, the government expects such people to inject new energy into the rural economy and increase farmers' incomes by introducing modern technology, systems and management.
New agribusinesses, including large-scale farming, farm produce processing, leisure agriculture, rural tourism, as well as producer and consumer services, are priorities of the policy support.
The move also aims to trigger a return of people to the countryside, where many children and elderly are left at home by adults who sought work in cities, Chen said, adding that the new startups will bring more new jobs.