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Agriculture in China

DATE:2010-03-04       SOURCE:
 

 I. Overview of Agriculture in China

 

1.1 Climate and Resources

 

China has a vast terrain territorywhich runs across five climate zones from the south to the north and gradually ascends from the east to the west like a three-step staircase, thus creating unique topographic features and diversified climatic conditions. Heat resources rise as altitude moves down from the north to the south, resulting in temperature and harvest time variations. The crops are harvested once a year in the northeast and northwest regions where the annual accumulated temperature ranges from 2500℃ to 3500℃, twice a year or three times in two year in North China (Huabei) Plain and the north part of middle and lower reaches of Yangtze river basin where it ranges from 4000℃ to 5000℃, and three times every year in the south part of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river where it ranges from 5000℃ to 7000 ℃. When it goes up from 7000℃ to 8000℃ in the Mid-China (Huazhong) and South-China (Huanan) regions, crops grow and harvest all year round. Water resources decrease gradually from extremely humid zones in the southeast coasts (1600mm annual rainfall) to the arid areas in the inland northwest (below 200 mm). Precipitation is unevenly distributed geographically, seasonally and yearly, and follows the pattern of more in summer and autumn but less in winter and spring for most regions.

 

 

China is home to rich plant and animal resources. There are thousands of crop varieties plus their close wild relatives, including over 1200 plant cultivars of cereals, fruits, vegetables, grasses, flowers and natural rubber, about twenty animal species of swine, chicken, goose, yellow cattle, buffalo and others with a total of 576 breeds, and more than 20,000 recorded waterborne organisms including more than 3800 types of fishes, 300 reptiles, 40 water mammals, and 600 aquatic plants.

 

 

In 2008, there were 1.328 billion people, and 121.716 million hectare of cultivated land (according to China Land and Resources News) in China, comprising of a quarter of water paddy and three quarters of dryland. The per capita of cultivated land was 0.092 ha on average, or about 40% of the world’s average, thus making China a country gravely short of cultivated land resources.

 

Changes of per capita average cultivated land over years (unit: hectare)

 

1.2 Contribution of Agriculture to the National Economy

 

With accelerating urbanization and industrialization since 1980s, agriculture takes up lesser and lesser share in the GNP, but its role as the base and staunch pillar of the national economy has never changed. By using merely about 9% of the world’s cultivated land, China has not only managed to meet the demand of 1.328 billion people for grain and other agro-products, but also been able to provide raw materials, labors and a huge consumer market for industries, services and other sectors. In 2008, agriculture (in terms of added value) took up a share of 11.3% of the GDP and 36.6% of employment. It plays increasingly important roles in produce supply, food safety, and environment protection, as its multi-functionality fosters.

 

 

Share of Agriculture in the National Economy

 

Year

Agro-added value to GDP

Labors in farming to national total employment

Off-farm rural labors to national total employment

Rural retail sales of consumer goods to the total

Agricultural imports to the total imports

Agricultural exports to the total exports

1978

28.2

70.5

5.4

67.6

1980

30.2

68.7

4.8

65.7

1985

28.4

62.4

13.5

56.5

12.1

24.5

1990

27.1

60.1

13.4

53.1

16.1

17.2

1995

20.0

52.2

18.7

40.0

9.3

9.4

2000

15.1

50.0

21.0

38.2

5.0

6.3

2001

14.4

50.0

21.6

37.4

4.9

6.0

2002

13.7

50.0

22.4

35.8

4.2

5.6

2003

12.8

49.1

23.8

35.0

4.6

4.7

2004

13.4

46.9

25.4

34.1

5.0

3.9

2005

12.2

44.8

26.9

32.8

4.3

3.6

2006

11.3

42.6

32.5

4.1

3.2

2007

11.3

40.8

32.3

4.3

3.0

2008

11.3

39.6

 

32.0

5.1

2.8

 

1.3 Production and Operation System

 

China began the People’s Commune system in October 1958, under which land was collectively owned, farming was jointly done by commune members, products were compulsorily purchased and distributed by the government, and revenue was divided among commune members according to the amount of labor they contributed. In 1978, China began to implement the reform and opening-up policy step by step and adopted the household contract responsibility system in rural areas. Under the condition that rural land should be always owned by farmer collectives, a two-tier scheme that combines centralized management and decentralized management on the basis of household contract responsibility system was gradually established as the fundamental rural operation system of China. While at the present stage, to accommodate the needs of a modern agriculture, households are adopting advanced technologies and up-to-date modes of production in their operations. The centralized management is transfiguring into a multifarious and diversified service system based on joint or cooperative production among households.

 

1.4 Farmers and Farmer Cooperatives 

 

In 2008, there were about 256.6 million farm households, and 520.3 million farmers in the workforce in rural areas (54.5% in farming and 45.5% in industry and service sectors) in China.

 

Since 2001, the Chinese government has been promoting the transformation of production and management practices and helping farmers to be better organized. Now there are over 150,000 farmer cooperatives with more than 38.7 million members (7.2 times of 2002), which include 34.8 million household members, representing 13.8% of the total number of households. Vertical integration in agriculture is blossoming. By the end of 2007, there were 172,000 agribusiness bodies, which leveraged an average income increment of 1,649 Yuan to each of the 95.11 million households who were involved in the integration.

 

1.5 Geographical Concentration of Production

 

Agricultural production is geographically concentrating to regions of competitive advantages, where crop belts or production regions have come into existence, each with unique characteristics and specialties. In some regions, leading products or sectors stand out, which have become the local economic pillars, such as vegetables in Shandong province, cotton of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, melons and vegetables that are harvested in winter in Hainan province, green food of Heilongjiang province, apples of Shaanxi province, flowers of Yunnan province, to name just a few. A regional division of sectors is emerging in terms of agricultural production. In the coastal regions and outskirts of big and middle-sized cities in the east, export oriented farming has been growing rapidly. In the central part of China, the potential of grain production has been tapped, and it’s turned into a livestock and processing base has some to shape. In western and ecologically vulnerable regions, eco-farming or farming with local characteristics are progressing by large strides.

 

 

 

II  Achievements in Agriculture and Rural Development

 

Three decades (1978-2008) of rural reform has led to tremendous achievements since it helped releasing and developing rural productivity, invigorating rural economy, improving farmer’s living standards, supporting sustained and rapid economic development and advancing the national reforms in all sectors.

 

 

2.1 Subsistence Needs of World’s One Fifth Population Are Met

 

Rural reform greatly boosted farmers’ enthusiasm and spurred production, leading to a significant growth in the output of major produce. In 2008, grain output totaled 529 million tons, with an average annual growth of 1.9% from 1978 to 2008. Unit yield per hectare rose from 2.5 to 5.0 tons, with an average annual growth of 2.3%, and the per capita grain production increased from 0.3 to 0.4 tons against the growing population and shrinking arable land area. Confronting tight global grain supply and big price fluctuation in the past two years, China has managed to maintain a balance of supply and demand as well as stable food prices, which is a major contribution of agriculture to the national economic stability. From 1978 to 2008, China’s meat production increased from 8.56 million to 72.787 million tons with an average annual growth of 7.4%, and the per capita availability rose from 8.9 kg to 54.8 kg. Fishery production rose from 4.653 million to 48.95 million tons over the same period, representing an annual growth of 8.2% and a per capita increase from 4.9 kg to 36.9 kg. China has realized a historical leap from long term shortage of farm produce to a supply and demand balance and even surplus in years of bumper harvest.

 

With sustained growth and strengthened overall productivity, the output and per capita availability of major products have witnessed substantial increase. China tops the world in the output of grains, oil-bearing crops, vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry eggs and aquatic products for many years in a row, and has also managed to feed around 1/5 of the world’s population with its own capacity, which is a big contribution to the world agriculture and food security.

 

2.2 Farmers’ Livelihood Is Improved

 

Farmers’ income has realized a steady rapid growth. In 2008, farmer’s per capita net income was 4761 Yuan, 4627 Yuan more than that of 1978. From 2004 to 2008 in particular, the annual increment of farmer’s per capita net income exceeded 300 Yuan for four consecutive years at a rate higher than 6%. Rural poor population[1] dropped to 14, 79 million (1.6% of the total rural population) in 2007 from a high of 250 million (30.7% of the total rural population) in 1978. In 2008, the Chinese government adopted a new poverty line and the coverage was extended to 40.07 million. Farmer’s income rise has stimulated rural consumption and expanded rural market.

 

Farmer consumption keeps rising. In 2007, the retail sales of consumer goods below county level were 1.89 trillion Yuan, up by 27 times compared to that of 1978, and rural consumer expenditure totaled 2.39 trillion Yuan or 20.9 times more than 1978, which greatly propped up the sustained and rapid national economic development. Farmer’s income rise has contributed to the bettering of their living standard and quality. In 2007, per capita cereal consumption of Chinese farmers dropped to 199.5 kg from 262.1 kg in 1990, and that of meat (pork, beef and mutton), aquatic products, and vegetable oil was 14.9 kg, 5.4 kg and 6.0 kg, rising by 9.7 kg, 4.6 kg and 3.8 kg respectively compared to that of 1978. Among all expenditures, that on health and medical care, transportation and communication, culture, education and recreation keeps growing. As a result, the proportion of basic consumption such as food keeps decreasing. In 2007, the Engel coefficient of rural residents dropped to 43.1%, 24.6 percentage points lower than that of 1978. The per capita housing area increased to 31.6 m2. To sum up, people’s living standard is obviously improved.

 

 

2.3 Physical Infrastructure and Technology Is Upgraded

 

With economic development, farm infrastructure investment is increasing, thus production conditions is improved. In 2008, the field under irrigation reached 58.4717 million hectares, representing a rise of 1.3 times compared to that of 1978 at an annual rate of 0.9%. 52.390 million tons of chemical fertilizers were applied, 5.9 times that of 1978 at an annual growth of 6.1%. Rural power consumption reached 571.32 billion kilowatts, 22.6 times that of 1978 at an annual growth of 10.9%. The total horsepower of farm machines reached 820 million kilowatts (7.0 times that of 1978), and 45.9% of plowing, sowing and harvesting of major produce was done by machines (2.4 times that of 1978). While in State farms alone, the machine horsepower was 18 million kilowatts and nearly 80% of plowing, sowing and harvesting was done mechanically. Supportive facilities were upgraded. Especially since 1998, protective agriculture has developed rapidly, which has surmounted regional and seasonal constraints and become a highlight in China’s drive for modern agriculture.

 

Agricultural research and innovative capacity is strengthened. A number of advanced and applicable technologies has been adopted and converted into actual productivity, thus providing strong technical backup to agricultural development. Since 1978, China has developed over 1,500 new crop varieties, giving rise to variety generation replacement for 2-3 times. The successful cultivation of super rice, special wheat, hybrid maize and other new varieties has played an irreplaceable role for the increase of grain yield. Super rice, for instance, has surpassed a threshold of 12 tons per hectare. There are also new breakthroughs in breeding technologies. BT-cotton, a case in point, has made historical contribution for the quantity and quality improvement of cotton. In addition, there are over 40 improved animal and poultry breeds and over 50 new aquatic breeds that have been successfully selected. Meanwhile, progress has been made in animal disease control technologies. Since 2004, China has successfully developed world leading class of vaccines such as the H5N2 deactivated vaccine against HPAI, genetically engineered H5N1 inactivated vaccine, the H5N1 live vaccine with fowl pox virus as the carrier and Avian Influenza-Newcastle Disease bivalent vaccine.

 

2.4 Rural Infrastructure and Social Undertakings Are Improved.

 

In 1980s, with the initiative to balance urban and rural development, the public finance and service were extended to rural areas. Effort was stepped up to boost rural infrastructure such as water and power supply, roads and communications, contributing to all-round development of rural social undertakings.

 

The new type of rural cooperative medical scheme covers 800 million farmers in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Funding for rural compulsory education is now fully provided by national budget. All students receiving compulsory education in rural areas are exempt from tuition and miscellaneous fees and are supplied with free textbooks. Living allowances are given to boarding students from poor families. The programme that enables full coverage of nine-year compulsory education in the western region and elimination of illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults is completed on schedule. The rural social security system is gradually set up and over 1,500 counties have adopted the minimum subsistence allowance scheme. Rural cultural and recreational utilities are improved. Now each county has at least a library and a culture house available. The project that enables farmers to have access to radio and television services now covers all natural villages that have more than 50 households, and has begun to be extended to natural villages that have more than 20 households and can access to power. Thanks to various projects such as the culture information sharing project, the town and township culture house project, the movie show project, and the village reading room project, cultural facilities at the grass-root level is gradually improved to provide enhanced services to enrich farmers cultural life.

 

 

2.5 Product Quality and Safety Level Is Raised

 

MOA is committed to better product quality and safety while in parallel ensuring the production and supply of major products in the past few years. Progress has been made in the following activities. Firstly, improve legislation, by contributing to the release of the Law on Agri-product Quality and Safety, formulating supportive rules such as the Administrative Rule on Place of Origin Safety, Administrative Rule on the Packaging and Labeling of Agricultural Products, etc., and enacting directives on banning the use of 41 pesticides and many feed addictives. Corresponding local regulations were promulgated by governments in light of their reality. Secondly, conduct targeted rectifications to address some urgent problems, by implementing the Plan of Action of Safe Food and other actions such as the targeted control of tetramine, rectification campaign to improve agri-product quality and safety, For-Olympics programme, and rectification actions related to dairy stations and feed. Thirdly, improve testing and inspection, by establishing the testing and inspection system which has 288 quality testing centers (certified) at the ministerial level, over 200 testing agencies at the provincial level, and more than 1500 agencies at the prefecture and county level. Fourthly, promote standard-based production, by formulating 4100 plus agriculture standards, establishing more than 880 national and 3500 provincial demonstration centers, certifying over 67,000 products as safe agri-products, green food or organic food, and applying GI to 157 products.

 

Thanks to persistent commitment over years, public awareness about quality and safety is rising, so is the administration competency. All in all, agri-food is safe and reliable. In 2008, regular surveillance found that over 95% of the tested vegetables, animal products, and aquatic products was below the residue limits, and this high rate, sustained for years, was thirty percentage points more compared to that of 2001. Improved quality and safety is a milestone in China’s drive for a modern agriculture.

 

2.6 Opening-up in Agriculture Is Promoted

 

Three decades of opening-up effort has promoted the reform and development of Chinese agriculture. Firstly, it has contributed to the scientific progress and innovation by transferring plastic mulching, formula fertilization, rice dry-nursing and sparse planting, remote sensing, commercial chicken farming, cage fish farming, fruits and vegetables fresh-keeping and other advanced technologies to China. Secondly, it complemented agricultural investment by getting concessional loans and grants from foreign governments and international organizations. Thirdly, it spurred the development of farm machinery, livestock farming and fisheries by importing state-of-art equipments and improved animal and aquatic breeds. Fourthly, it has contributed to agricultural trade, restructuring and farmers income rise by improving product quality, safety and standardization and honoring China’s commitment as a WTO member. Fifthly, it has helped to establish long-term and stable cooperative ties with over 140 countries and leading international agricultural and financial organizations through bilateral, multilateral and regional agricultural collaborations, and it helped to engage in extensive cooperation and exchange activities by ways of variety and breed introduction, technological extension as well as provision of agricultural loans and technical assistance. While ensuring food security by relying on domestic supply, China, with its accumulated technical strength over years, assists developing countries to improve food production. China has already or is going to set up over 20 technology demonstration centers in Asian, African and Latin American countries, has sent nearly 1,000 agricultural experts and technicians to developing countries and has trained a large team of local agricultural technicians for them.

 

After China’s WTO accession in 2001, agriculture has entered a stage of all-round reform and opening-up. To accommodate further reform and opening-up and participate in international market competition, China has abolished non-tariff border measures, converted non-tariff measures into tariffs and adopted tariff cuts and “binding”. TRQ is applied to wheat, rice, corn, cotton, vegetable oil, sugar, wool, natural rubber and other important agricultural products, the tariff quotas are expanded, and TRQ for some commodities has been abolished after 2006. Now the average tariff level of agricultural products is only 15.2%, or only 1/4 of the average of all WTO members. Agriculture export subsidies were abolished. China’s total agricultural trade increased from USD 6.10 billion in 1978 to USD 99.16 billion in 2008, demonstrating an annual growth of 9.7%. In 2007, China’s agricultural trade accounted for 3.4% of the world’s total, making China the world’s 4th trader of agricultural products.

 

 

III.  Present Guidelines and Policies

 

From the beginning of the 21st century, viewing its agriculture and rural development in the context of the overall economic development, and to accommodate the changes in agriculture and countryside after it came to the middle stage of industrialization, China has adopted the guideline for agriculture and rural development in the new industrialization stage. On its basis, China has released sets of pro-farm policies and measures to strengthen the position of agriculture as the foundation of the economy, increase farmers’ income and promote rural progress, which have shaped the policy scheme for agricultural development in the new period.

 

Policies on Food Security. It is of primary importance for China to ensure food security for its 1 billion plus population. Since 1980s, china has adopted a series of favorable policies and measures for grain production, and gradually established a food security policy system that conforms to the rules of the market economy. First, meet the demand by domestic production. Self-sufficiency rate for grains is maintained at above 95%, which is an important contribution not only to the domestic food security but also to the world food security. Second, implement the “Governor's Grain Bag Responsibility System”. The provincial government and executive governor are responsible for the grain supply in the province, insuring the total grain planting area, improving per-unit yield, increasing grain reserve, keeping the balance between supply and demand, and stabilizing grain price. Third, support grain production. The national investment and subsidy policy will favor the main grain production areas and grain farmers, as they are the priority for government support. The central government will award and subsidize the big grain producing counties so as to mobilize the enthusiasm of local governments to develop grain production and farmers to grow grain crops. Fourth, promote innovation. Technology is a tool to increase per-unit production, so efforts have been made to promote innovation and extension. Fifth, strengthen the protection of farmland, water resources and other basic factors for agricultural production and improve the physical infrastructure for grain production.

 

Policies on Farmland Protection. Considering the unique situation that cultivated land resource is comparatively scarce, China has adhered to the fundamental policy of farmland protection, specifying farmland resources protection in laws and regulations, including the “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China”, “Land Administration Law”, “Rural Land Contract Law”, “Regulations on the Protection of Basic Farmland”, etc. First, establish basic farmland protection system. The government identifies eligible farmlands as basic farmland based on the overall land use plan and taking into account the demand for farm products by the population and socio-economic growth in certain period. Second, implement the most stringent farmland protection system. Facing the grave challenge of farmland shrinking and fertility deterioration since 1990s, the Chinese government has decided to implement the most stringent farmland area protection system. Third, improve farmland quality. The government encourages farmers and rural collective economic bodies to invest in the land to improve fertility and productivity.

 

Taxation Policies Before the rural tax and fee reform, China exercised an agricultural production taxation policy, which included agricultural tax, agricultural special product tax, animal husbandry tax, animal slaughter tax, etc. In 2000, China initiated the rural tax reform that would have far-reaching significance, which can be summarized into “four rescindment”: First, rescind agricultural tax. This started from the reduction of agricultural tax rate to alleviate farmers’ burden, which culminated in its absolute rescindment nation-wide in 2006, as symbolized by the abolishment of “Agricultural Tax Regulation”. Second, rescind taxes on agricultural special products. In 2004, China rescinded taxes on all agricultural special products except tobacco. Third, rescind slaughter tax. In 2006, the “Provisional Regulations Concerning the Slaughter Tax” was officially repealed. Fourth, rescind animal husbandry tax. In 2005, China rescinded the animal husbandry tax across the board. Compared with the year 1999 (that was before the rural tax reform), a total of 125 billion Yuan is relieved from the burden of farmers, or 140 Yuan in per-capita term, a tangible benefit for the 800 million farmers in China.

 

Subsidy Policies Since 2004, to keep up with the changes in socio-economic development and taking in experience from other countries for reference, China has started to explore an agricultural subsidy system that conforms to WTO rules and the reality of China. The core of the system is “the Four Subsidies”. The first is the direct subsidy for grain producers, which is given to farmers according to the grain field size they farm. It targets at main grain producing regions and has replaced the previous grain market subsidy. The second is the subsidy for production materials. This subsidy is calculated according to the price changes of essential farm inputs such as diesel and fertilizer, so as to offset the increase of grain production cost created by price rise of inputs. The third is the subsidy for using improved varieties. This is a subsidy provided by the central government to farmers who purchase and use improved crop varieties, so as to encourage farmers to use improved ones. The fourth is the subsidy for the purchase of farm tools and machines. It aims to encourage farmers to purchase state-of-art tools and machines to promote mechanization and physical backup for production. In 2008, the four types of subsidies amounted to 103.0 billion Yuan.

 

Policies on Agri-product Price Protection. Since 1980s, China has gradually opened its agricultural market. Since 2004 when the grain purchase market was freed from state monopoly, all agricultural products except tobacco and silkworm cocoon are open to the market. The price is fixed by the market, and the function of market in resource allocation is put into play. While giving full play to the market mechanism, China also started to develop price protection policies for grain and other important agricultural products because agri-product is considered critical to the country. Since 2004, while promoting the reform of grain circulation system and opening the grain market, China started to introduce a floor purchasing price scheme towards wheat, rice and other staple grain crops in major production regions.

 

 

IV.  Future Prospects

 

In the coming future, China will be in a stage of accelerated industrialization, urbanization, marketization and internationalization, and sustainable socioeconomic growth will require stronger support from agriculture. China will continue to put the issue of agriculture, rural areas and farmers as the top priority. It will continue to fortify agriculture as the economic basis, seek a route of agricultural modernization with Chinese characteristics, and promote integrated urban and rural socioeconomic development with the mechanism of industry nurturing agriculture and urban areas supporting rural areas.

 

 

 

4.1 Improve productivity. China will promote the stable development of grain production, and guarantee national food security by enhancing the productivity of main grain production areas, and improving yield, quality and efficiency. The self-sufficiency rate is to be kept at above 95%. The grain production is to be sustained at over 500 million tons in 2010, and to reach over 540 million tons in 2020. The production of major products shall maintain a stable increase. By 2010, the output of cotton, oilseeds and sugar-bearing crops shall reach 6.8 million, 32 million and 120 million tons respectively, while that for vegetables, fruits and other products shall remain stable with the expectation of some growth. The production of meat, egg, milk and aquatic products shall reach 84 million, 30 million, 42 million and 60 million tons respectively.

 

Farmland protection scheme shall be strictly implemented to ensure the size and fertility of farmland. The total area of farmland shall be maintained at 121.2 million hectares by 2010 and 120.3 million by 2020. Steps will be accelerated to improve fertility of medium and low yield farmland, thus enhancing the capacity to prevent and mitigate natural disasters.

 

We will promote innovation and translation of technical findings to field use. Efforts will be taken to accelerate the construction of national agricultural science and technology innovation bases and regional farm R&D centers, promote R&D and extension of crop, livestock and fisheries breeding and propagation technologies as well as technologies in feeds and animal feeding, epizootic prevention and control, resource use efficiency, pollution control, expand the use of fine varieties such as super hybrid rice, and intensify new plant variety protection. We will enhance germplasm protection while using them in an efficient way. By 2010, science and technology shall contribute 53% to agriculture production, while the adoption rate of applied technologies in priority areas reach over 90%.

 

 

4.2  Promote Agricultural Structure Readjustment. We will continue to promote the strategic restructuring of agriculture, and improve the product mix and geographical concentration. By 2010, the geographical concentration of agricultural production shall be further improved, and the competitive production belts will be shaped. The product mix of agricultural sectors will be further optimized, with livestock industry accounting for 50% of the total agricultural production value. Rural sectoral structure shall also be better coordinated to have fast growing second and tertiary industries, and the ratio of agri-product processing revenue and agriculture production value shall exceed 1.5: 1. Rural employment structure shall be gradually fine-tuned, with Township Enterprises absorbing additional 2.5 million labors and another around 5 million farmers joining the migrant working force each year.

 

4.3  Strengthen Agricultural Service System. Work will be done to improve services related to extension, product quality & safety standards, epizootic prevention and plant protection, as well as accreditation and certification. In 2010, the total horsepower of farm machinery shall reach 800 million kilowatt, and the mechanization rate of plowing, sowing and harvesting shall exceed 45%. Specialized cooperative economic organizations shall leverage about 30% farming households into their business activities.

 

4.4  Improve Rural Distribution System. We will establish or upgrade wholesale markets, rate products into several quality grades and promote standard –based packaging. We will continue to implement village market project to encourage retailers to open stores in more townships and villages, reform the network of supply and marketing cooperatives and encourage the outreach of urban commercial network to rural areas. We will improve the network of “green pathway” for fresh agricultural products, establish chain stores to sell agricultural supplies, and regulate the market order.

 

4.5 Increase Farmers’ Income. We will develop competitive products that have superior quality, specialty and high added value, extend the production chain and support vertical integration to tap the income-generating potential; promote the mechanism innovation and restructuring of township enterprises, support county economy and guide surplus labor to non-agricultural sectors and cities to increase off-farm income; continue direct subsidy policies, sustain produce price at a acceptable level, stabilize inputs price, and develop an agricultural support system. By 2020, the per-capita net income of farmers shall be doubled on the basis of 2008, consumption significantly boosted, and the widening gap between urban and rural area shall be put under control.

 

4.6 Better the Countryside. We will strengthen rural infrastructure, protect the environment and preserve the ecology in rural areas, promote rural public health service, and develop rural social security mechanism. By 2010, 160 million rural residents shall be able to access to safe drinking water and 55% rural population will benefit from tap water. Biogas digesters will be built for 40 million rural households, and the paved and repaved road will reach 1.2 million kilometers. Power supply problem for those who yet have no access to electricity shall be solved, and the living environment of farmers improved by effective waste and sewage management.

 

 

4.7 Cultivate New Farmers. We will promote education, skills training and cultural activities in rural areas, and cultivate new farmers who are educated, have skills and know business; promote compulsory education in the countryside, and improve rural education facilities; support the training of new farmers to improve their farm skills and technical know-how; implement the programme for migrant labor employment training and the Golden Blue Collar programme on the training of skilled workers from countryside to enable them to seek off-farm employment; conduct the practical hand training project to produce teams of practical hands in farming, construction, business, science and other sectors.

 

 

4.8 Increase Investment. We will stick to the principle of “giving more and taking less”, and formulate a long lasting mechanism of letting industry promoting agriculture and urban areas supporting rural areas; improve income distribution, continuously increase investment in agriculture and countryside from national budget and fiscal spendings on fixed asset, according to the principle of appropriate adjustment of existing investment and prioritization in budget increments; expand the coverage public finance to rural areas, ensure larger budget increment in “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” compared to the previous year while the increment is to be used in education, public health and cultural undertakings in rural areas, and prioritize on agriculture and countryside in the infrastructure investment by the central government and local governments at various levels; reform pro-farm fund management, synergize investments in agriculture, and improve fund efficiency; encourage financial institutions and private investors to increase investment in agriculture and the rural areas and promote develop micro-finance.

 

4.9 Intensify Rural Reform. We will: stabilize and improve the fundamental operation system, grant full and secure rights to farms for land contracting and operation, maintain enduring validity of land contract; improve administration and service toward turnover of land use rights, and improve turnover market; allow farmers to transfer their use rights through subcontracting, leasing, exchange, assignment and shareholding cooperation in line with laws and the voluntary and compensational principle to develop scale operation, and strengthen dispute reconciliation and arbitration related to land contracts or operation and protect farmers contractual rights and interests in accordance with law; consolidate rural tax reform achievements, and advance full-fledged rural reform, including deepening rural financial reform to set up a rural financial system, accelerating the reform concerning land acquisition to improve compensation mechanism for affected farmers, strengthening the services of rural collective economic organizations, promoting administration transparency and democratic management, and achieving a buoyant villager’s governance mechanism under the guidance of village party organization.

 

4.10  Expand Opening-up. China’s agriculture cannot be developed in isolation from the world, and the world agricultural progress also needs the all-round involvement of China. China will promote agricultural opening-up, which is the orientation, on basis of cooperation, development and win-win principles to improve efficiency, farmers’ income and competitiveness of agri-products, and to development a modern agriculture, which is the basic task. China will continue to strengthen its friendly cooperation with other countries and international organizations. Firstly, to strengthen international cooperation in the field of grain. It will honor its commitment to the MDGs, and make contributions by assisting some developing countries to develop agriculture and pursue food security through channels such as South-South Cooperation under FAO special programme framework on food security, doing technology demonstrations in those countries and training their managers and technicians in China. Secondly, to promote agricultural trade. China will continue to improve agri-product quality and safety, meet WTO membership duties, and provide safe farm commodities for domestic and foreign consumers. At the same time, as a developing country, the special conditions and development needs in food security, farmers’ livelihood, and poverty elimination must be taken into account if to ensure domestic food security. Thirdly, to promote inter-governmental bilateral and multilateral cooperation in agriculture. Effective multilateral and bilateral cooperation mechanism, such as high level exchange of visits and joint agricultural commissions, can be capitalized on to promote agricultural scientific exchanges, economic cooperation and personnel exchange.

 

 

IV. About MOA-Mandates & Departments

 

MOA is a ministry of the State Council. It undertakes the following mandates:

 

1. formulate and sponsor the implementation of polices, development strategies, and mid-and longer term plans for all sectors in agriculture (hereafter referred to as “agriculture”, including crops, livestock, fisheries, mechanization, township and village enterprises, and land reclamation) and rural economic development; involve in the formulation of agriculture-related financial, taxation, pricing, financial insurance, import and export policies; and sponsor the drafting of laws and regulations that are related to agriculture and rural economy and press for law-based agricultural administration.

 

2. carry out the responsibility of improving rural operation and management system, by putting forward policy recommendations on how to deepen rural economic reform and better the basic operation system and providing instructions on the administration of land contracts, turnover of cultivated land use right, and disputes arbitration; instruct and oversee farmers burden relief activities and villagers cash and kind contribution management, and guide the operation of rural collective assets and budgets; draft and sponsor the implementation of policies and plans on promoting vertical integration in agriculture, and support the establishment and growth of social service systems, rural economic organizations, farmers cooperatives and product associations.

 

3. provide instructions on the production of major produce such as grains, implement related policy measures, and sponsor restructuring activities and quality improvement; join efforts with related agencies to guide standardized scale production; give proposals on the size and flow of fixed asset investment and budget expenditure, and examine, approve and verify national and annual investment projects in light of rules of the State Council; write sectoral budget and sponsor its operation; propose suggestions on pro-farm financial policies and programmes, and partner with the Ministry of Finance to formulate and sponsor the operation of implementation schemes; devise and oversee the operation of agriculture development plans; assist the Ministry of Finance sponsor the operation of integrated agricultural development projects.

 

4. facilitate pre- and post harvest integration, and sponsor the elaboration and operation of policies and plans to promote processing; put forward policy recommendations on agribusiness development; guide the restructuring, technical innovation and service network building of the processing industry; propose policy recommendations on staple agri-product distribution, analyze trade of major products and file proposals on their import and export; analyze staple agri-product market system and devise its establishment and development plans; create and protect brands.

 

5. improve agri-product quality and safety, by conducting quality and safety risk assessment, releasing information, and undertaking surveillance in accordance with law stipulations; making proposals on technical trade measures; formulating agricultural GMO safety evaluation criteria and technical norms; involve in the elaboration of national standards on agri-product quality and safety and sponsor the compliance together with related authorities; guide the development of inspection and testing system in agriculture and the examination of institutions; carry out certification of agri-products that meet the safety standard and the supervision in accordance with the law; sponsor supervision and control of agri-product quality and safety.

 

6. sponsor and coordinate the development of farm inputs market networks, by launching permit and supervision regulation over crop seeds (seedlings), grass seeds, breeding poultry and animals, pesticides, veterinary drugs, feeds, and feed addictives according to law; formulate and publicate national standards on veterinary drug quality, residue limits and testing methods in accordance with rules; supervise fishing vessels, machines, fishing nets and tools in accordance with laws; devise national standards on farm inputs and join forces with other authorities to oversee the compliance; supervise veterinary medical appliances and selective fertilizers; give instructions on farm mechanization and safe machine use surveillance.

 

7. take on the responsibility of crop pest management, draft plant and animal disease prevention and quarantine laws and regulations, and enter into intergovernmental agreements; join forces with competent authorities to formulate and sponsor the enforcement of sanitary and phyto-sanitary as well as disease prevention and control policies, and guide the development of disease prevention and quarantine networks; sponsor and oversee pest and disease prevention and quarantine activities in the country and leverage efforts to stamp out breakouts; sponsor plant pest census; undertake the quarantine and approval work over imported crop seeds (seedlings); sponsor veterinary administration as well as animal drug control and inspection work; manage registered vets; meet the requirements of international agreements in this field.

 

8. Shoulder the responsibility of disaster preparedness and mitigation, by monitoring disasters and publicizing information, sponsoring stockpile and distribution of seeds, pesticides and other relief materials, proposing on the use of relief funds, and instructing on emergency response and production rehabilitation.

 

9. Manage farm and rural economic information, by monitoring and analyzing farm and rural economic situation, collecting data, releasing information, developing farm and rural information networks and guiding information services.

 

10. formulate research and extension programs, plans and policies, and sponsor the building of national farm technology innovation systems as well as sectoral technology systems together with other authorities, implement the strategy of agriculture invigoration through science and technology, and sponsor the implementation of earmarked research projects according to the terms of reference; sponsor farm high-tech and applied technology research, commercialization and extension; manage research findings, introduce state-of-art technologies from other countries, and guide extension network reform and growth; protect new crop plant varieties, and do farm GMO safety supervision.

 

11. draft and sponsor operation of human resources development plans together with other authorities, instruct on agriculture education and vocational skill development, and involve in rural practical hand training programme; engage in training of migrant workers to seek off-farm employment, and manage qualification and practitioner certificates for rural labors together with competent authorities according to law.

 

12. sponsor the zoning up of farm resources, guide farmland, fishery waterbody, grassland, marsh, wetland and species resources preservation and regulation, and protect waterborne wild plants and animals; devise and sponsor the implementation of arable land and basic farmland fertility conservation and improvement policies, and manage cultivated land quality in accordance with the law; promote water saving farming by adopting engineered, agronomic, mechanical and biological measures; address fishery disputes together with related authorities, and safeguard national fishing rights and interests in seas and fresh water body that is under China” jurisdiction; administer offshore fishing, and exercise the rights of fishing boat inspection as well as fishery administration and ports supervision on behalf of the country.

 

13. design and carry out farm ecological preservation plans, guide the use of rural renewable energy in rural areas, and promote biomass industry, energy efficiency and emission reduction in farming and rural communities, and control non-point pollution in agriculture; delineate areas banned for agricultural production, and guide eco agriculture and cyclical farming; preserve ecology in fishing areas, and take a lead in exotic species control.

 

14. engage in intergovernmental foreign affairs in agriculture, participate in agricultural negotiations and making of trade rules, and conduct agricultural trade promotion and international economic and technical collaborations; involve in the formulation of foreign assistance policies and plans, assist competent authorities to sponsor the operation of related projects, and meet the obligations of international conventions and agreements.

 

15. undertake other responsibilities delegated by the State Council.

 

Organizational chart, Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)

 

The General Office (Office of Taiwan Agricultural Affairs)

Department of Personnel and Labor

Department of Sectoral Policy and Law,

Department of Rural Economic System and Management

Department of Market and Economic Information

Department of Development Planning (National Office of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning)

Department of Finance

Department of International Cooperation

Department of Science, Technology and Education (Office of Exotic Species Control)

Department of Crop Production (Office of Plant Protection)

Department of Farm Mechanization

Department of Animal Industry (National Feed Office)

Bureau of Animal Health (Office of Major Animal Disease Control)

Bureau of State Farms and Land Reclamation

Bureau of Township EnterprisesBureau of Produce Processing

Bureau of Fisheries (Bureau of Fisheries Administration and Fishing Ports Superintendence of the Peoples Republic of China)

Bureau of Agri-food Quality and Safety

 



[1] Poor population refers to those with an annual net income of less than 100 Yuan according to the 1978 line, but 1196 Yuan according to the 2008 line.

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