On Strengthening the Agricultural Infrastructure to Promote Agricultural Development and Increase Farmers' Income
On January 30, 2008, the Chinese Central Government issued the No.1 Central Document of the year, calling for the strengthening of the agricultural infrastructure, actively promoting stable agricultural development, ensuring a continuous increase in farmers' income, ensuring the basic supply of major agricultural products, and effectively addressing the livelihood issues in rural areas.
The document calls for the establishment of a long-term mechanism to strengthen agricultural infrastructure.
Balance urban and rural development and increase investments in the "three rural issues" (agriculture, rural areas, and farmers). To strengthen the agricultural foundation, there must be guided allocation of resources, ensuring national income distribution favours the "three rural issues" with significantly increased investments.
Consolidate, refine, and reinforce policies favouring agriculture and farmers. Abide by the principles suitable for national conditions, focus on the long-term, gradually increase, and perfect mechanisms. Persist in and refine the agricultural subsidy system, continuously intensifying support and protection for agriculture.
Create a positive interaction between increased agricultural efficiency and farmers' increased income. Support the production of high-quality agricultural products and the development of characteristic agriculture, advancing the in-depth processing of agricultural products. By reducing costs and increasing income, vigorously develop energy-saving agriculture, promote the resourceful use of agricultural by-products like straw and domestic waste, and enhance the benefits of agricultural production. Further clarify the legal status of farmers' household property, safeguard farmers' rights to collective property income, and create conditions for more farmers to gain property-based income.
Explore mechanisms to promote urban-rural integration. Aim to transform the backwardness of rural areas, break down the urban-rural dual structure, and strive to form a new pattern of integrated urban and rural development planning, industrial layout, infrastructure, public services, employment, and social management.
The document demands ensuring the basic supply of main agricultural products.
Give high importance to grain production. Ensure stable grain sowing area, optimise crop structure, improve yield per unit area, and ensure stable development of grain production.
Effectively manage the production of "vegetable basket" products. Actively promote the large-scale planting of vegetables and other horticultural products. Encourage the development of livestock and poultry breeding, aquaculture, and deep-sea fishing. Where conditions permit, actively develop facility agriculture and precision agriculture.
Strengthen agricultural standardisation and ensure the quality and safety of agricultural products. Accelerate the revision and formulation of agricultural standards. Implement a plan to establish a quality and safety inspection and testing system for agricultural products, set up a risk assessment mechanism, actively develop green and organic foods, cultivate brand-name agricultural products, and strengthen the protection of agricultural product geographical indications.
Support the industrialization of agriculture. Continue to carry out actions to enhance agricultural industrialization, cultivate a batch of strong leading enterprises with good growth and strong driving force, support these enterprises in cross-regional operations, and promote the development of advantageous industrial clusters. Encourage farmers' professional cooperatives to establish agricultural product processing enterprises or buy shares in leading enterprises. Support the development of the "One Village, One Product" initiative. Strengthen and improve the regulation of the agricultural product market. Coordinate the use of domestic and international markets and resources, ensure the supply and production development of domestic agricultural products, take into account the interests of producers and consumers, use economic levers to guide the reasonable pricing of agricultural products, strengthen the reserve system for important agricultural products such as grain, perfect the adjustment mechanism, and guide enterprises to establish commercial reserves.
The document emphasizes the importance of agricultural infrastructure construction.
Vigorously promote the construction of small farmland water conservancy projects.
Vigorously develop water-saving irrigation. Continue to focus on water-saving reforms in large irrigation areas as a key area of investment in agricultural fixed assets, aiming to complete the continued construction and water-saving transformation of large irrigation areas by 2020. Promote water-saving irrigation demonstrations and guide farmers to actively adopt water-saving equipment and technology.
Expedite the reinforcement and risk removal of hazardous reservoirs.
Strengthen cultivated land protection and soil improvement. Continue to increase investments, intensify the transformation of low- and medium-yield fields, accelerate the implementation of the fertile soil project, and expand soil testing and formula fertilisation. Support farmers in returning straw to the fields, planting green manure, and applying organic fertiliser. Accelerate the implementation of dry farming demonstration projects and establish a number of water-saving demonstration areas for dry farming.
Accelerate the promotion of agricultural mechanization. Speed up the full-process mechanization of grain crop production, and steadily develop the mechanization of cash crops and animal husbandry. Continue to implement conservation tillage projects. Support the development of large-scale agricultural machinery users, agricultural machinery cooperatives, and professional agricultural machinery service companies.
Continue to strengthen ecological construction. Implement key ecological projects such as natural forest protection and converting farmland to forests. Establish and perfect compensation systems for the ecological benefits of forests, grasslands, and soil and water conservation, mobilize compensation funds through multiple channels, and enhance ecological compensation.
The document emphasizes the need to strengthen the basic support of agricultural science and technology and the service system:
Accelerate the advancement of agricultural science and technology R&D and its application. Significant investment in agricultural scientific research is crucial. There must be a strengthened collaboration between industry, academia, and research to promote agricultural technological innovation. Push forward the construction of a modern agricultural industrial technology system, elevating regional agricultural innovation capabilities. Implement the "Technology into Households" initiative vigorously, intensify support for significant technology promotion, and continue exploring effective mechanisms and methods to introduce agricultural technological achievements to villages and households.
Establish a comprehensive disease prevention and control system for animals and plants. Speed up the development of a robust, stable, and efficient animal disease prevention and control system, underpinned by a reliable network and a solid workforce.
Vigorously cultivate practical rural talents. Organise and implement a training programme for new rural practical talents, focusing on training experts in breeding industries, technology leaders, rural brokers, and heads of professional cooperative organisations. Accelerate the enhancement of farmers' quality and entrepreneurial skills, continuing to intensify vocational skill training for migrant workers.
Actively develop farmers' professional cooperatives and rural service organisations. Financial authorities at all levels should continue to increase support for farmers' professional cooperatives. Support the development of agricultural production and operation service organisations, offering farmers services like contract farming, water management, and warehousing and transportation.
- Strengthen the rural market system. Establish and perfect a large market and distribution system that meets the requirements of modern agricultural development. Enhance the construction of a modern food logistics system and initiate pilot projects for the cold chain logistics of fresh agricultural products. Encourage businesses in commerce, postal services, pharmaceuticals, culture, and other sectors to develop modern distribution industries in rural areas.
Actively promote rural informatisation. Perfect the rural information service system. Proactively explore ways and means to introduce information services to villages and households. Refine the system for collecting and disseminating agricultural information, providing farmers and businesses with timely and effective information services.
The document calls for the gradual improvement of the basic public service level in rural areas.
Improve the level of compulsory education in rural areas. Offer textbooks free of charge to all rural students at the compulsory education stage, increase rural education subsidies, and intensify efforts to renovate weak rural schools. Strive to elevate the quality of rural primary and secondary school teachers.
Enhance the basic medical service capabilities in rural areas. In 2008, a new rural cooperative medical system was universally established across the country, expanding benefits for farmers and intensifying the prevention and control of infectious and endemic diseases in rural areas.
Promote rural public culture. Deepen the implementation of the "Village-to-Village" broadcast and television initiative, rural film screenings, comprehensive cultural stations in towns and townships, and the "Farmers' Library" project. Establish service points for the shared cultural information resources project at the grassroots level in rural areas.
Establish a comprehensive rural social security system. Refine the rural minimum living guarantee system, and based on perfected policies, regulations, and operational mechanisms, include all eligible impoverished rural households in the scope of basic living allowances.
Continuously elevate poverty alleviation and development standards. Persist in the approach of development-oriented poverty alleviation, increase poverty alleviation investments, gradually raise poverty alleviation standards, and intensify support for impoverished rural populations and areas.
Vigorously develop rural public transportation. Strengthen rural road construction. Improve policies and measures that support rural public transport development, enhance rural public transport services, promote the networked transformation of rural passenger transport and the bus route transformation, and drive the coordinated development of urban and rural passenger transport.
Continue to improve the rural living environment. Increase investment in rural drinking water safety project construction and continue the transformation of rural power grids.
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Orignial Chinese Version (Full Text)