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6.Development of Agricultural Support Systems

DATE:2009-06-06       SOURCE:

6. Development of agricultural support systems


In response to the new development stage of agriculture and rural economy as well as the new situation after accession to the WTO, and taking increasing benefits from agricultural productionsharpening the competitive edges of farm produce and increasing farmers’ income as targets, the Chinese government has called on intensified efforts for development of various support systems like breeding system of quality varieties and breeds, innovation and application system for agricultural science and technology, plant and animal protection system, quality and safety system for farm produce, the agricultural information and the market system, the agricultural resources and eco-environment protection system, and socialized service and management system for agriculture so as to support energetically the development of agriculture and rural economy.


6.1 Breeding system of quality varieties and breeds. This type of systems aims at ensuring production and supply of the most basic means of agricultural production, and dealing with problems of quality and benefits of farm produce from the root causes. It consists of crop seed projects (protection of wild plants included), projects for breeding quality varieties and breeds (protection species of domestic animals and poultry included), and projects for developing of quality aquatic breeds.


6.2 Innovation and application system of agricultural science and technology. This type of systems aims at providing a basic driving force and guarantee for sustainable development of agriculture, and improving innovative capacity of agricultural science and technology and the application of achievements made in this field. It consists of projects for agricultural science and technology innovation (mainly referring to the national centres of farm crop improvement, key open laboratories designated by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)), projects for transfer and application of achievements of agricultural science and technology (projects for industrialization of agricultural high and new technologies included), demonstration projects for mechanized production of major farm crops, and programmes for training farmers.


6.3 Animal and plant protection system. This type of systems aims at preventing and controlling outbreaks of plant and animal diseases and pests, and protecting agricultural production and the public health, with focuses on establishing and improving six major basic systems including the inspection and early warning system for major diseases and pests,the prevention and control system for plant and animal diseases and pests, the quarantine and monitoring system for plant and animal diseases and pests, the monitoring and residue testing system for safe use and quality control of pesticides and animal drugs, the plant and animal protection and support system,and the animal drugs and supplies assurance system for plant and animal protection. By doing so, an animal and plant protection system with well-organized structure, well-developed functions and well-qualified staff members shall come into being.


6.4 Quality and safety system of farm produce. This type of systems aims at reinforcing development of the monitoring, inspection, certification and supervision systems for farm produce as well development of equipment and facilities, and building demonstration bases for standardized production of competitive farm produce through focusing on promoting standardization of agriculture, learning standards and common practices in other countries, and paying close attention to the key factors like environmental inspection in producing areas, quality control of inputs, standardization of production technologies and market access as well.


6.5 Agricultural information and market system. This type of systems aims at building up platforms for analyzing and releasing information on agriculture, and providing market information for farmers, intermediary organizations and leading enterprises to deal with problems caused by impeded information flow of agricultural production and trade. It covers agricultural information projects and construction projects for agricultural wholesale markets at producing areas.


6.5.1 Agricultural market system. Since reform and opening up, the development of agricultural markets has experienced the following four stages: a. From 1978 to 1984, it was featured by the restoration of farmers’ bazaars and emergence of wholesale markets; b. From 1985 to 1991, it went through the readjustment period of moving from the government monopoly of sales and purchase to market oriented development. c. From 1992 to 1997, various types of agricultural markets such as those located in producing areas and those situated in marketing places made a fast development. Since 1998, it has entered an improvement period for large-scaled, standardized and legalized operations. At present, the agricultural market system has come into being for regulating the supply, demand and pricing of agriculture products by market force. Firstly, we have developed market systems, readjusted and improved the wholesale marketssupermarkets, future markets of agricultural products as well as farmers’ bazaars. At the end of 2005, there were some 4 300 agricultural wholesale markets nationwide, and the number of farmers’ bazaars reduced moderately to around 25 000. The future markets saw a steady development, and the number of traded commodity items increased to nine as a result of newly approved tow items of cotton and sugar. The transaction value of these markets was over 6 000 billion yuan. Secondly, markets has developed multiple players, and brought into full play the role of salesmen, specialized farmers’ cooperative organizations, leading enterprises in vertically integrated operations and state cooperative and commercial organizations. At the end of 2005, engaged in agricultural trade were some five million of salesmen, about 0.15 million of specialized farmers’ cooperative organizations, and over 4 300 of leading enterprises in vertically integrated operations. And thirdly, we have strengthened market services through opening Green Channel, providing One Stop Service, and building quality control centres to push forward improvement of agricultural markets. At the end of 2005, 28 provinces and autonomous regions in the country opened the Green Channel for transport of agricultural products, and about 80 percent of prefectures and cities and 40 percent of counties set up One Stop Service system for providing information of supply and demand of agricultural products. Under the support of MOA, a total of 225 designated wholesale markets set up quality testing centres, contributing to the fast increased capability of pesticide residue testing.


6.5.2 Agricultural information system. Since 1990s, the development of agricultural information system has made tremendous progresses in the following four aspects: a. Gradually improved system of agro-information organizations. Up to now, the agricultural competent departments in 97 percent of prefectures and cities and 80 percent of counties have set up their respective information management and service organs, with a total of more than 0.2 million rural information staff who may reach farmers directly. As a result, an organization system of agro-information has come into being, involving departments concerned from the national level down to various local levels. b. Primarily formed agro-information networks. A national agro-portal website that takes the China Agricultural Information Network as the centre and integrates over 20 specialized networks has been established, which ranks second in the world agro-websites in terms of comprehensive capability. The agricultural competent departments in the 31 provinces, about 80 percent of prefectures and cities and 40 percent of counties have established their own intranets and agro-information service websites. On this basis, the three application systems of the Monitoring and Early Warning System for Agricultural Products, the Market Control System and the Rural Market, Scientific and Technical Information System have been improved step by step. c. Steadily advanced integration, development and use of agro-information resources. The agricultural competent departments have established nearly 40 fairly stabilized channels in various fields like crop farming, animal husbandry, fisheries, state farms and land reclamation, and farm machinery. In 2002, it started to carry out monitoring and early warning on wheat and maize, and to analyze and forecast supply and demand situation in domestic and overseas markets in due time. In 2003, a system of MOA Economic Information Release Calendar was set up for regular releasing information of various industries to the public. And d. Increasingly innovated service patterns of agro-information. In recent years, by exploring various service ways and means, a pilot service pattern of Three in One has been created to provide an integrated service of TV, telephone and computer. Such a service pattern is well accepted by farmers as it may effectively expand service coverage.


6.6 Agricultural resources and eco-environment protection system. This type of systems aims at dealing with problems related to effective protection and utilization of agricultural resources and eco-environment to realize sustainable development of agriculture and rural economy. It covers rural biogas digester building projects, protection and development projects of grassland ecology, protection projects of wild agricultural resources of plants and animals, demonstration projects of conservation farming, projects of agricultural non-point source pollution control, soil-fertility enhancing projects, demonstration projects of increase of organic matters in soil, demonstration projects of dryland water-saving farming, and protection and restoration projects of fishery eco-environments.


6.7 Socialized service and management system of agriculture. This type of systems aims at providing farmers with pre-, during- and post-production technical services, and undertaking various types of management for agriculture and rural economy in accordance with regulations and laws. It covers service network development projects for use of agricultural technical know-how at grass-root level like training courses for rural labours who seek for job opportunities in urban areas; infrastructure development projects for agricultural law enforcement services, and construction projects of state-level fishing harbors.

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