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December 5, 2022   
China's No. 1 Central Document for 2021

Rural Revitalization; Rural Modernization; No.1 Central Document

On February 21, 2021, China released No.1 Central Document for the year–Guidelines on Comprehensively Promoting Rural Revitalization and Speeding Up Agricultural and Rural Modernization. The document puts the development of agriculture and rural areas high on the agenda for the new era. It maps out the rural revitalization and modernization plan, and provides directions for the work concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers now and in the period ahead.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the country’s endeavor to revitalize the countryside got off to a good start. Fruitful outcomes were achieved in the following four aspects: 

?The agricultural production capacity was taken to a new level; 

?A decisive victory was secured in poverty alleviation; 

?Farmers’ income continued to grow rapidly; and 

?The countryside took on a new look, laying solid groundwork for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The document notes that every possible effort must be made to consolidate and build on our achievements in poverty alleviation and to safeguard food security. To ensure the alignment of China’s poverty alleviation efforts with its rural revitalization goal, the government needs to, in a defined transition period, press ahead with the fight against poverty and in the meantime promote rural vitalization in areas that have already shaken off poverty. Strengthened assistance for low-income rural residents needs to be provided on a regular basis so as to ensure that people would not slip back into poverty in large numbers. To build the capability of supplying grain and other major agricultural products, the government needs to adopt measures including stabilizing the sown area of grain, improving the yield per unit area, keeping the annual grain output at over 650 million tons, developing agricultural belts for national food security, maintaining subsidies for grain growers, advancing structural adjustment in agriculture, and launching food saving initiatives.

The document also emphasizes the need to set the stage for the modernization of agriculture and rural areas. To move faster to modernize agriculture, the government needs to focus on tackling the problems related to seeds and farmland and vitalizing the seed industry, and make sure arable land should in no circumstances be less than 120 million hectares. Efforts will also be made to strengthen the support for modern agriculture in the forms of technology, resources and equipment, establish the modern rural industry and agricultural management systems, and advance the green development of agriculture. To vigorously implement rural development initiatives, the government needs to speed up village planning, improve rural public infrastructure and basic public services, carry out a five-year action plan on improving rural living environment, comprehensively stimulate rural consumption and advance at a faster pace integrated urban-rural development within counties. Moreover, measures will also be taken to scale up support for the development of agriculture and rural areas and press ahead with rural reform.