On Accelerating the Advancement of Agricultural Scientific and Technological Innovation and Continuously Enhancing the Capacity to Secure Agricultural Product Supply
On February 1, 2012, the Central Government of China released the No.1 Central Document for that year. The document called for the stable development of agricultural production to ensure an effective supply of agricultural products. It placed a heightened emphasis on agricultural science and technology, significantly increasing investment in the field to promote leapfrogging developments in agricultural technology, thus injecting strong momentum for increased agricultural output, increased farmers' income, and rural prosperity.
The document underscored the need to ramp up investment and efforts to continually push for steady development in agriculture.
Prioritise grain production. Safeguard effective supply of agricultural products. Continue to implement actions for stable grain yield increases, make every effort to maintain grain planting areas, expand the production of scarce varieties, and focus on improving yield per unit area and quality.
Ensure vegetable product supply. Accelerate the promotion of regional distribution, standardised production, and scaled farming and breeding, raising the overall ability to secure vegetable supply and safety standards. Fully leverage the emergency support function of urban agriculture, ensuring that large and medium-sized cities maintain a certain level of self-sufficiency in vegetables and other fresh food.
Increase agricultural investment and subsidies. Continue to increase fiscal spending on the "three rural issues" (agriculture, rural areas, and farmers), continue to increase national fixed asset investment in agriculture and rural areas, and continuously ramp up investments in agricultural science and technology. Continue to enhance the intensity of agricultural subsidies. Raise direct subsidy levels for grain farmers. Increase the subsidies for quality seed varieties. Expand the scope and range of agricultural machinery purchasing subsidies, further refining the subsidy mechanism and management methods.
Elevate the level of rural financial services. Increase support for rural financial policies, continuously increase rural credit investments, ensuring that the growth rate of bank loans for agriculture exceeds the average growth rate of all loans. Expand the types and coverage of agricultural insurance. Strengthen the agricultural reinsurance system.
The document further emphasised relying on technological innovation as the driving force, leading and supporting the construction of modern agriculture.
Define directions for agricultural technological innovation. Plan in advance for cutting-edge agricultural technologies and foundational research. Achieve breakthroughs in key and common agricultural technologies. Based on China's basic national conditions, promote the integration of agricultural technology, mechanisation of labour processes, and informatisation of production and management, constructing a technical system that meets the requirements of high-yield, high-quality, efficient, ecological, and safe agricultural development.
Highlight key areas in agricultural technological innovation. Stably support basic, cutting-edge, and public-welfare-oriented agricultural scientific research. Strengthen foundational agricultural research, achieving breakthroughs in major foundational theories and methods, such as biological gene regulation in agriculture, molecular breeding, resistance mechanisms in agronomy and forestry animals and plants, efficient use of farmland resources, ecological restoration of agronomy and forestry, pest control, biological safety, and agricultural product safety.
Refine the agricultural technological innovation mechanism. Promote the close integration of industry, research, and education in agriculture. Support companies in enhancing technological research and development and upgrading, encourage companies to undertake national technology projects, and enhance independent innovation capabilities. Accelerate the transfer of agricultural technology and the transformation of results, strengthen the protection of agricultural intellectual property rights, and steadily develop the agricultural technology trading market.
Improve conditions for agricultural technological innovation. Increase the support of national technology plans towards the agricultural field, support the establishment of agricultural technological innovation funds, actively guide and encourage social funds like financial credit and venture capital to participate in agricultural technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Push forward with the construction of national agricultural high-tech industry demonstration zones and national agricultural science and technology parks.
Focus on seed industry technological innovation. Increase investments in basic and public-welfare-oriented seed industry research, strengthen the collection, protection, and identification of germplasm resources, innovate breeding theories, methods, and technologies, create and improve breeding materials, and rapidly develop breakthrough new varieties.
The document calls for enhancing the capability of agricultural technology promotion and vigorously developing socialised agricultural services.
Strengthen grassroots public-welfare-oriented agricultural extension services. Focus on enhancing grassroots agricultural extension service capabilities, guiding family businesses towards adopting advanced science and production means.
Guide research and educational institutions to actively provide agricultural technical services. Guide universities and research institutes to become important forces in public-welfare-oriented agricultural extension, reinforce their "three rural" duties, refine incentive mechanisms, and encourage research and teaching personnel to engage in grassroots agricultural extension services.
Cultivate and support new types of social agricultural service organisations: Support farmer professional cooperatives, supply and marketing cooperatives, professional technical associations, farmer water use cooperatives, agricultural-related enterprises, and other social entities to extensively participate in pre-production, in-production, and post-production agricultural services.
The document calls for strengthening educational and technological training to fully cultivate a new generation of talents for agriculture and rural areas.
Revitalising the Development of Agricultural Education. Initiating a series of agricultural-focused academic disciplines, reinforcing the construction of talent training bases that combine agricultural sciences and education. Further increasing the per-student funding standards for agricultural-related disciplines. Encouraging the development of vocational education in agriculture-related industries, ensuring that every prospective rural labourer possesses a skill.
Accelerating the Training of Agricultural Science and Technology Talents. Persisting in the implementation of the Innovative Talent Advancement Programme and the Outstanding Talent Training Programme for Agricultural Research, hastening the cultivation of leading talents and innovative teams in agricultural science and technology. Further refining incentive mechanisms for agricultural research talents, as well as their independent mobility mechanisms.
Vigorously Training Practical Rural Talents. Speeding up the training of village officials, heads of farmer professional cooperatives, university students working in villages, and other rural development leaders, as well as agricultural plant protectionists, epidemic prevention workers, water conservancy workers, information officers, biogas engineers, and other service-type talents. Additionally, focusing on training large-scale growers, agricultural machinery owners, brokers, and other production and operation-oriented talents. Great emphasis is placed on cultivating modern professional farmers.
The document emphasises improving infrastructure and equipment conditions to solidify the material foundation for agricultural development.
Persistently Strengthening Farmland Water Conservancy Construction. Enhancing the Construction of High-Standard Farmlands. Accelerating the delineation of permanent basic farmlands and initiating pilot compensation schemes for cultivated land protection. Formulating national plans and specific plans for high-standard farmland construction to comprehensively enhance the continuous grain yield capacity of cultivated land. Continuously conducting soil quality surveys and monitoring, promoting soil testing and formulated fertilisation, expanding subsidies for improving soil organic matter, and persisting in the development of dry farming engineering.
Accelerating Agricultural Mechanisation. Fully utilising integrated agricultural machinery technologies to increase efficiency and drive large-scale operations, continuously expanding the fields of machinery operations, and improving the service level of agricultural machinery. Efforts are being made to address prominent challenges in the mechanised planting of rice and the mechanised harvesting of maize, rapeseed, sugarcane, and cotton. There's also emphasis on the development of equipment for facility agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture, and exploration of comprehensive mechanised agricultural production.
Prioritising Ecological Construction. Consolidating the achievements of converting farmland to forest and expanding the scale of such conversions in key national ecological areas such as river sources and around lakes and reservoirs.
The document requires enhancing market circulation efficiency to ensure the stable and balanced supply of agricultural products.
Strengthening the Construction of Agricultural Product Distribution Facilities. Coordinating the planning of national agricultural product distribution facility layouts and rapidly perfecting the agricultural product distribution network covering urban and rural areas. Continuing to advance the construction of storage and logistics facilities for major agricultural products such as grain, cotton, oil, and sugar. Accelerating the development of logistics centres for fresh agricultural products and supporting the establishment of integrated cold chain logistics systems. Further strengthening the construction and maintenance of rural roads. Assisting in building facilities for the collection, processing, packaging, and storage of agricultural products at their source, particularly providing subsidies to farmer cooperatives for preliminary processing and storage facilities.
Innovating Methods of Agricultural Product Distribution. Taking full advantage of modern information technology to develop modern transaction methods such as e-commerce for agricultural products. Exploring the establishment of flexible and varied agricultural product production and sales models that effectively connect production with consumption, reducing circulation links and costs. Vigorously developing order-based agriculture to form stable relationships between the supply and demand of agricultural products. Fully leveraging the positive role of agricultural futures markets in guiding production and hedging risks.
Refining the Regulation of the Agricultural Product Market. Accurately grasping changes in domestic and foreign agricultural product markets, adopting targeted regulatory measures to ensure effective supply and market stability of key agricultural products, and maintaining reasonable price levels. Steadily raising the minimum procurement prices for wheat and rice, timely initiating temporary stockpiling of corn, soybeans, rapeseed, cotton, and sugar, improving the reserve system for agricultural products such as grain, cotton, oil, and sugar. Exploring the establishment of a price stability mechanism for major vegetable varieties.
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