On February 19, 2019, China released No.1 Central Document for the year, calling for efforts to fulfill the demanding tasks relating to agriculture, rural areas and farmers as required by the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and to accomplish the rural reform and development goals by 2020.
In order to implement targeted policies and win the critical battle against poverty, efforts should be made to:
● Accomplishpoverty alleviation tasks down to earth. Existing policies need to be fully implemented to achieve the set poverty elimination targets. We should neither arbitrarily lower the bar nor set expectations too high. Misconduct like manipulation and falsification of data is strictly forbidden.
● Focus onextremely impoverished areas. A list of major difficulties in lifting extremely impoverished areas out of poverty should be made, and responsibilities should be well defined to ensure the problems are tackled one by one.
● Take effective measures to address pressing issues. We should avoid reducing poverty alleviation to mere subsistence allowances. Rather than relying completely on government relief and aid, the poor should be motivated to build their own capacity of self-development.
● Consolidate and expand our achievements in poverty alleviation. During the critical phase of the battle against poverty, we should continue to implement poverty relief policies for the impoverished population, villages and counties that have already moved out of poverty. In this way, we will prevent them from falling back into poverty.
The document stresses the importance of implementing the rural vitalization strategy, and outlines the measures for strengthening the areas of weakness in the fields relating to agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
First,consolidating the foundation for agriculture and ensure effective supply of major agricultural products. Efforts will be made to keep grain output stable, develop high-standard farmland, optimize the agricultural structure, and achieve breakthroughs in core agricultural technologies.
Second, promoting rural development and improving rural living environments and public services. China will push forward the three-year campaign to improve the rural living environments, take measures to improve rural infrastructure and public services, enhance pollution treatment and environmental protection, and highlight the guiding role of rural planning.
Third, fostering the development of rural industries and diversifying channels to increase the income of farmers. Measures include developing industries with local characteristics, modern agricultural product processing and new rural services, pushing forward a digital countryside strategy, promoting the employment of the rural workforce in non-agricultural sectors, and encouraging rural innovation and entrepreneurship.
Fourth, advancing rural reforms across the board to provide a driving force for development. For this purpose, we need to consolidate and improve the basic rural operation system, advance reform of the rural land system, press ahead with the reform of the rural collective property rights system, and improve the systems for supporting and protecting agriculture.