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China Daily Website

China to modernize agriculture in new reform bid

Updated: 2014-01-06 11:16
( English.news.cn)

Farmers are encouraged to "franchise" their lands to large farming entities, including farms, farmers' cooperatives and agricultural enterprises. No matter how the usage right is transferred, the farmers will remain the legal "owners", or contractors of their lands, according to the rural work conference.

Guo Shengxiang, a renowned Australian economist, said the new policy offered strong support for farmers' land rights and would server as a basis for the legal mortgaging of contracted land, which would boost farmers' property income and facilitate finance for agriculture.

The government also proposed at the conference to make farmers richer and better educated, to make being a farmer more profitable and attractive as a profession, and to make country areas desirable places to live and work.

Guo said the proposal sent a clear message that China's rural issues needed to be addressed by lifting farmers' social and economic status. Following the example of developed countries, farmers can live and work comfortably and agriculture develop steadily only by making farmers professionals, safeguarding their income and social security, facilitating community services and modernizing the sector.

On the subject of agricultural financing, it was also stated at the conference that China would increase investment and establish a finance system that suited agricultural and rural characteristics.

Ruan Wei, chief researcher at Japan's Norinchukin Research Institute, said China needed to build a long-term, low-interest agricultural finance system and an insurance mechanism for agriculture disasters.

Considering the large input, high risk and long cycle of agricultural production, authorities should provide long-term policy financing. In the case of Japan, such loans could last 15 to 20 years, Ruan said.

Fan Shenggen, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, said creative measures should be introduced in building an insurance mechanism for agriculture disasters, and collective insurance could help lower the cost.

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