Modernize agriculture by reform

Updated: 2014-01-21 17:03


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The further reform of China bodes well for a better future for Chinese farmers and agriculture, says an article in Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

The central government issued its No 1 document of 2014 recently, vowing to address institutional drawbacks and accelerate agricultural modernization.

It is the 11th consecutive year since 2004 the central government has focused on agriculture in its first document of the year. Reform is the key to the agricultural issues mentioned in the document.

The reform is not an action initiated by the authority, but a forced alternative to solve a host of pressing problems accumulated during the previous development model, which prioritized economic growth over any other progress and sacrificed the interests of agriculture, farmers and the countryside for industry, urban residents and cities.

There are three main directions for the agricultural reforms.

First, the government must strengthen its protection of agriculture. To make planting grains profitable for farmers, the government needs to increase its subsidy for farmers and raise its grain procurement prices.

Second, the market should play a decisive role in allocating resources. This is of great significance to reviving agricultural production factors and removing obstacles for the free flow of those factors. Land reform in the countryside is a crucial step to increase farmers’ property income and promote collective agriculture, which is the foundation of modern agriculture.

Third, farmers are essential and the core of the reform. Farmers’ rights and interests must be respected by the whole of society and protected by law.