The Current Position:Home>>Overview
 

4.Agricultural and Rural Development

DATE:2009-06-08       SOURCE:
 

4. Agricultural and rural development

 

4.1 Agricultural production. Since the policy of reform and opening up was adopted in 1978, China has witnessed a dramatically improved overall productivity of agriculture and a sharply increased output of grain and cash crops, which has contributed to solving the problem of domestic food security through relying on its own efforts. In mid-1990s, the supply and demand patterns of farm produce changed once and for all, progressing from long-term shortage to a general balance with some surplus in good harvest years. In 2006, China produced 497.48 million tons of grain, 192.71 million tons more than 1978, making it the biggest grain producer in the world. The output of cotton was 6.75 million tons, which could basically meet the domestic demands for processing. The output of oil seeds and sugar crops reached 30.59 million tons and 110.32million tons, respectively, which was 25.38 million tons and 86.50 million tons more than 1978, respectively. The output of meat, eggs and milk was 80.51 million tons, 29.46 million tons and 33.03 million tons, respectively, which was 34.67 million tons, 9.80 million tons and 25.67 million tons more than 1978, respectively. The aquatic production was 52.50 million tons, 47.85 million tons more than 1978. And the production of fruit was 172.61 million tons in 2006. Currently, the output of cereals, cotton, peanuts, rapeseeds, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, tea, meat, poultry, eggs and aquatic products ranks first in the world, respectively. Per capita output of grain, cotton, oil seeds, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs and aquatic products has reached or surpassed the world average.

 

 

Grain Production in China

Unit: 10 thoudand tons

 

 

Production of Major Cash Crops in China

Unit: 10 thousand tons

Year

1978

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Cotton

217

271

415

451

477

442

532

492

487

632

571

Oilseeds

522

769

1578

1613

2250

2955

2865

2897

2805

3066

3077

Sugar crops

2382

2911

6047

7215

7940

7635

8655

10293

9670

9571

9452

Fruit

657

679

1164

1874

4215

6225

6658

6952

7551

8394

8836

Note: Data of output of fruits after 2003 include yield of melon and fruit.

   

Animal and Aquatic Products in China

Unit: 10 thousand tons

肉类 Meat     禽蛋 Poultry & Egg    奶类Milk       水产品Aquatic products

 

4.2 Structures of agriculture. In 2006, the value added of agriculture registered 2 473.74 billion yuan, an increase of 2 371.4 billion yuan over 1978 with annual growth rate of 11.9 percent. Crop production accounted for 56.4 percent of the total, decreasing by 22.8 percentage points from 1978; forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries made up 4.4 percent, 26.6 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, increasing by 1.4 percentage points, 8.6 percentage points and 8.3 percentage points from 1978, respectively.

 

Structure of Chinese Agriculture and Variation, 1978-2005

Year

1978

2005

2005/1978

Total

100.0

100.0

0.0

Crop farming

77

56.4

↓20.6

Animal husbandry

18

4.2

↓13.8

Forestry

3

28.2

↑ 25.2

Fisheries

2

10.1

↑8.1

Services

 

 

 

Note: A new classification criteria for economic industries was put in place in 2003. According to the new criteria, the value of gross output consists of output value of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries and service. 

 

4.3 Strategic restructuring of agriculture. Since 1999, the Chinese government has stepped up the strategic restructuring of agriculture based on the judgment that China has entered a new stage of development. The restructuring aims at optimizing the quality of farm produce on the basis of stabilizing the total output and securing supply; giving play to comparative advantages through optimizing the regionalization of agriculture in every aspect; transforming the traditional agriculture with advanced technologies so as to improve agricultural productivity and farmland output capability; readjusting the rural economic structure in an all round way, and vigorously developing secondary and tertiary industries so as to upgrade the overall performance of agriculture. Up to now, the strategic restructuring has made remarkable progress. Firstly, crop farming has been improved in terms of structure through building up, step by step, a pattern of coordinated development in production of grain, cash and feed crops. As a result, cash crops like vegetables, fruit and flowers have all made rapid development, becoming new growth points of increasing farmers’ income. Secondly, animal husbandry and aquaculture have made a fast development, leading to a gradually decreased share of crop farming but continuously increased shares of the two in the agricultural structure. Such a development has played an important role in securing the supply of farm produce and in increasing farmers’ income. Thirdly, the quality and safety of farm produce have been improved prominently. A number of poor-quality varieties and breeds have been eliminated, a number of quality ones for special purposes developed, and a number of brand name farm produce fostered. In 2006, 69.1 percent of the total paddy rice acreage was under quality paddy rice, 55.2 percent of the total under quality wheat for special purposes, and 80.8 percent of the total under the double-low rape. In the case of high-oil and high-protein maize for special purposes, it has developed quickly from zero. The issue of safety and hygiene of farm produce has attracted more and more public attention. Agro-safe food, green food and organic food have seen a dramatic development. And fourthly, the production of major agricultural products tends to further concentrate in places where the optimum growing conditions exist. For example, maize production has been concentrated in three major growing regions, namely the one located in the Yangtze River valley, the one in the Yellow River valley and the one in the northwest China, forming a triangular balance of production. The total acreage and output of the three growing regions occupy 97.5 percent and 98.4 percent of the national total, respectively. The two major apply belts are situated respectively in Bohai Bay areas and the Loess Plateau of the Northwest China. Their total acreage and output account for 87.8 percent and 88.7 percent, respectively. The total acreage and output of the three sugarcane belts that are located in Guangxi Autonomous Region and the three provinces of Yunnan, Guangdong and Hainan make up 89.2 percent and 91.5 percent of the national total, respectively. The beef cattle sold and beef production out of those areas with competitiveness make up 59 percent and percent 65 percent of the national total, respectively; and both the mutton sheep sold and mutton production out of such areas account for 77 percent of the national total.

 

4.4 Township enterprises. Township enterprises, a new force emerging all of sudden, has brought along changes in structures of rural industries and occupations as well as development of small towns, opening up a way towards rural modernization with Chinese characteristics. In 2006, there were 23.14 million township enterprises, 21.62million more than 1978. The employees totaled 146.80 million, 118.54 million more than 1978. These township enterprises generated added value of 5 795.5 billion yuan, an increase of 5 746.2 billion yuan over 1978. They realized a total of 1 473.5 billion yuan of profits and tax, 1 463.9 billion yuan more than 1978. Now, come from township enterprises one-third of GDP, one-fourth of the financial revenue, one-third of the foreign currency earned through export, one-half of industrial added value, two-thirds of rural social added value, and one-third of farmers’ income come.

 

Development of Township Enterprises in China

Year

Number of enterprises

(10 thousand)

Number of employees

(10 thousand)

Added value

(100 million yuan)

Total
 profits

(100 million yuan)

Export value

(100 million yuan)

1978

152

2826

493

96

1980

142

2999

669

126

1985

1225

6979

2755

247

39

1990

1850

9264

2504

684

486

1995

2203

12861

14595

3697

6008

2000

2084

12820

27156

6482

8669

2001

2115

13085

29328

6709

9397

2002

2133

13288

32386

7558

11563

2003

2185

13573

36686

8571

14197

2004

2213

13866

41815

9932

16932

2005

2250

14272

50534

12519

20662

 

 

4.5 Transfer of rural labours and rural occupation structure. It was until 1978 that the rural labours in China were simply engaged in agricultural production. The proportion of rural labours to the social total declined from 83 percent in 1952 to 70 percent in 1978 with an average annual decrease rate of merely 0.5 percentage point. Since 1978, a large number of rural labours have moved out of farming operations or rural areas through non-agricultural occupations in rural areas, working outside rural areas or settlement in towns or cities. Firstly, non-agricultural occupations in rural areas. From 1978 to 2005, the rural labours transferred to non-agricultural occupations in rural areas increased from 21.80 million to 204.12 million. Migrant rural labours totaled 155 million, with an annual increase of 6.20 million on average. Secondly, working outside rural areas. Since 1978, starting from zero, the number of rural labours worked in other places has increased rapidly. Migrant rural labours have played an active role in increasing farmers’ income, changing the outlook of rural areas and keeping stability in these areas. In 2006, over 124 million of rural labours had jobs in cities or towns, of which those worked outside their own provinces accounted for about 43 percent. The income growth from services has become an important element for the increase of farmers’ income in recent years. And thirdly, settlement in towns or cities. The urban population increased from 172 million in 1978 to 577 million in 2006, and the urbanization ratio (the proportion of urban population to the national total) rose from 17.9 percent to 43.9 percent. According to estimates, a total of more than 150 million rural labours moved into urban areas. To summarize the transfer of rural labours in the country, there are the following three important experiences. Firstly, to develop various industries. Efforts should be made to develop the rural productivity, push forward the national economy for a high-speed development, and create new job opportunities. From 1984 to 1988, the GDP increased by 12 percent annually. During this period, a huge number of rural labours moved to secondary and tertiary industries in rural areas. From 1992 to 1995, the GDP increased by 12.7 percent annually. During this period, lots of rural labours moved to non-agricultural industries, and more and more of these labours worked outside rural areas. Secondly, to carry out structural reform. This reform has broken down the barriers between urban and rural areas, and allowed rural labours to move into cities for job opportunities. From 2000 to 2006, the GDP growth rate was up to over 9 percent, and the accelerated structural reform and urbanization facilitated more rural labours to move into cities or towns. And thirdly, to improve the quality of farmers. According to survey results, the average education time of migrant rural labours is about eight years, that is 1.5 years more than the average of rural labours.

 

Along with movement of rural labours, the occupation structure of rural China has taken a dramatic and historic change. Although the agricultural labours increased from 283 million in 1978 to 340 million in 2005, its ratio to the social total declined from 70.5 percent to 44.8 percent, and its ratio to the rural labours dropped from 92.9 percent to 59.5 percent. The absolute number of agricultural labours began to reduce in 1992, indicating that the occupation structure of rural labours entered a new phase. The agricultural labours declined from 340 million in 1992 to 300 million in 2005 with an annual decrease of 3.08 million on average.

 

4.6 Farmers’ income and life. In 1978, the net income per capita of Chinese farmers was merely 134 yuan. With development in the past 28 years, this figure in 2006 was up to 3 578 yuan, 3 453 yuan more than 1978. On inflation-adjusted basis, the annual growth rate would be 7.04 percent. Thanks to the increased income of farmers, their living standards and quality of life have kept improving remarkably. In 2006, the farmer per capita consumption of grain, vegetables and edible oil was 206 kg, 101 kg and 6 kg, respectively. And that of meat, poultry and eggs was 26 kg, and that of aquatic products and sugar was 5 kg and 1 kg, respectively. By the end of that year, the per capita dwelling space was nearly 31m2, an increase of 23 m2compared to 1978. In early 1980s, almost no farm household had durable consumer goods such as TV set, washing machine, refrigerator or motorcycle. However, in 2006, every 100 farm households had 89 TV sets, 43 washing machinery, 23refrigerators and 45 motorcycles. From 1978 and 2006, the Engel's coefficient (the share of expenditures on food consumption in the total of rural households) of rural residents declined from 68 percent to 43 percent, dropping by 25 percentage points in the 28 years. With improved material life, farmers have received full respect for their democratic and political rights. Currently, over 70 percent of villages have carried out the direct election by villagers, and established the system of villagers representative meeting, the open village affairs system and the open financial affairs system. The self-governing system is being popularized. Self-governance has fostered the farmers’ democratic and legal awareness, cut the social managerial costs down at grass roots, and alleviated contradictions between cadres and rural residents, and accelerated the process of democratic and legal development in rural areas.

 

Income of Urban and Rural Residents

 

Year

Index of GDP per capita

(%)

Urban per capita disposable income

(yuan)

Index of urban income

(%)

Rural

per capita net income

(yuan)

Index of rural per capita net income

(%)

1978

100.0

343

100.0

134

100.0

1980

113.0

478

127.0

191

139.0

1985

175.5

739

160.4

398

268.9

1990

237.3

1510

198.1

686

311.2

1995

398.6

4283

290.3

1578

383.7

2000

575.5

6280

383.7

2253

483.5

2001

618.7

6860

416.3

2366

503.8

2002

670.4

7703

472.1

2476

528.0

2003

733.1

8472

514.6

2622

550.7

2004

802.2

9422

554.2

2936

588.0

2005

878.9

10493

607.4

3255

624.5

 

4.7 Development of small cities and towns. Small cities and towns are of a strategic importance to economic development in China. In 1978, there were only 2 173 administrative townships. Since 1978, due to development of township enterprises and the promotion of household registration reforms, China has accelerated the process of urbanization. At the end of 2006, there were 19 369 administrative towns, 17 196 more than 1978. The urbanization rate increased from 17.9 percentage to 43.9 percent in 2006, which was over three times of that before 1978.

Related Accessories:
Related News
Recent Browse

Fold