On Strengthening the Integrated Development of Urban and Rural Areas
On January 31, 2010, the Central Government of China released to the public the No.1 Central Document for that year. The document stressed the improvement of rural living standards and identified expanding rural demand, modernising agriculture, building a socialist new countryside, and advancing urbanisation as the enduring driving forces for maintaining stable and relatively rapid economic growth. It emphasised the fundamental principles of ensuring stable grain supplies, increasing incomes to benefit people's livelihoods, promoting reforms for better coordination, and solidifying foundational works for sustained strength in the agricultural and rural sectors.
The document calls for strengthening policies that benefit agriculture and rural areas:
Continuously increase state investments in agriculture and rural areas, especially in the "Three Rural" aspects.
Fiscal expenditure should prioritise support for agricultural and rural development, with budgetary fixed-asset investment primarily directed towards agricultural infrastructure and rural public welfare projects. Income from land transfers should be prioritised for agricultural land development and rural infrastructure construction.
Perfect the agricultural subsidy system and market regulation mechanisms. Persist in direct subsidies for grain farmers. Increase seed subsidies, expand potato subsidy coverage, initiate barley seed subsidies, and implement pilot programmes for peanut seed subsidies. Further increase subsidies for agricultural machinery purchases, extend subsidy types, and include livestock, forestry, drought-resistance, and water-saving equipment within the subsidy purview.
Enhance the quality and standards of rural financial services. Strengthen the effective integration of fiscal and tax policies with rural financial policies, guiding more credit funds to the "Three Rural" and resolving the challenges of rural financing. Implement and refine policies related to agricultural loan tax benefits, targeted expense subsidies, and incremental rewards. Actively promote microcredit loans in rural areas, expand the range of agricultural insurance premium subsidies, and foster the development of small-scale rural insurance. Perfect the agricultural reinsurance system and establish a fiscal support mechanism for catastrophe risk diversification.
Actively guide social resources towards agricultural and rural areas. Major cities should play their part in radiating and stimulating the rural areas around them. Encourage various social forces to partner and assist villages, participating in rural industrial development and public infrastructure construction. Vigorously develop the rural market and introduce timely new measures to stimulate rural consumption based on economic development and the production and living needs of farmers.
The document emphasises improving modern agricultural equipment and promoting a shift in agricultural development methods:
Ensure the stable development of bulk agricultural products like grain. On the basis of stabilising grain planting areas, prioritise the optimisation of crop varieties and focus on increasing grain yield and quality. Fully implement the national plan to increase grain production capacity by one hundred billion jin and quickly establish production capabilities. Accelerate the establishment of a compensation system for grain-producing regions, increase financial rewards for major grain-producing counties, and elevate the fiscal capacity per capita in major grain-producing counties.
Advance the standardised production of "vegetable basket" products. Implement a new round of "vegetable basket" project construction, speed up facility-based production of horticultural crops, and promote the scaling-up of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture. Actively develop pollution-free agricultural products, green food, and organic agricultural products.
Prioritise the construction of water conservancy infrastructure.
Vigorously construct high-standard farmland. Support projects like farmland irrigation and drainage, land consolidation, soil improvement, mechanised roads, and farm forestry network construction. Accelerate the transformation of basic farmland in 800 major grain-producing counties into high-standard farmland, establishing a stable base for commodity grain. Expand the scale and scope of subsidies for soil testing and formula fertilisation, as well as for improving soil organic matter content. Promote conservation tillage techniques, implement dryland farming demonstration projects, and provide subsidies for the application of dryland farming technologies.
Enhance the innovation and dissemination capabilities of agricultural science and technology. Prioritise breeding in agricultural science and technology, accelerate the innovation and application system construction of agricultural biobreeding. Expedite the establishment of township or regional agricultural technology promotion and other public service institutions, expanding the scope of grassroots agricultural technology promotion system reform and construction demonstration counties. Actively develop diversified, socialised agricultural technology extension service organisations. Push forward the transformation of industrial technology for agricultural use. Speed up the development of agricultural mechanisation, vigorously promote deep ploughing and land consolidation using machinery, and support practices like straw returning to the field and rice seedling transplanting with machinery.
Improve the agricultural product market system. Formulate a coordinated national agricultural product wholesale market layout plan and develop large-scale agricultural product markets and distribution systems.
Construct a solid ecological security barrier. Consolidate the results of converting farmland to forests, increasing the allocation of such projects in ecologically fragile areas and important ecological locations. Launch the forest management project to enhance the comprehensive output capability of forest lands. Significantly increase forest carbon sequestration. Strengthen the construction of grassland ecological protection, extend the implementation period for livestock grazing-to-grassland projects, and moderately raise subsidy standards. Implement a balanced livestock-to-grassland system, and continue to promote practices like rotational grazing and grazing bans.
The document requires accelerating the improvement of rural living standards and narrowing the development gap between urban and rural public utilities:
Strive to promote employment and entrepreneurship among farmers.
Enhance the development level of rural education, health, and cultural undertakings.
Improve the level of rural social security.
Strengthen the construction of rural water, electricity, roads, gas, and housing infrastructure.
Continue to focus on poverty alleviation efforts. Adhere to the principle of developmental poverty alleviation in rural areas, striving to enhance the self-development capabilities of people in impoverished regions and ensuring that the growth rate of per capita net income for farmers in key poverty alleviation counties exceeds the national average. Increase efforts in integrated village development, labour force transfer training, industrialised poverty alleviation, and employment-based poverty relief. Actively and prudently implement poverty alleviation relocations, adequately addressing post-relocation development challenges. Mobilise all sectors of society to participate in poverty alleviation, fully harness the role of industry in poverty alleviation, and actively engage in international exchanges and cooperation in the field of poverty reduction.
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Orignial Chinese Version (Full Text)