On Advancing the Construction of a New Rural Area
On February 21, 2006, the Central Government of China released its Central Document No. 1 for that year. The document stipulates that governments at all levels should prioritise the "Three Rural Issues" and earnestly put into practice the tasks related to building a new rural area, accelerating the pace of rural comprehensive well-being and modernisation.
The document demands to coordinate urban and rural socio-economic development and solidly advance the construction of a new rural area.
Accelerate the establishment of a long-term mechanism where industries promote agriculture and urban areas lead rural regions. Continuously increase investments in agriculture and rural areas. Expand the scope of public finance coverage in rural areas and establish a sound mechanism for steady growth in financial support for agriculture. Further integrate agricultural funds to enhance the efficiency of fund utilisation. Financial institutions should continuously improve services and strengthen their support for the "three rural issues"(agriculture, rural areas and farmers). Efforts should be accelerated to establish a system conducive to gradually changing the dual urban-rural structure, implement an equal employment system for urban and rural workers, and establish a diverse rural social security system in line with the level of economic development.
Advance the construction of modern agriculture, and strengthen the industrial support for the new rural area construction.
Vigorously enhance the innovation and transformation capacity of agricultural technology. Deepen the reform of the agricultural research system, speed up the establishment of national innovation bases and regional agricultural research centres. Addressing the urgent needs of agricultural production, accelerate the research, development, and promotion of breeding high-quality crops and livestock, controlling animal and plant diseases, conserving resources, and preventing pollution. Speed up the reform and construction of the agricultural technology extension system, actively explore methods to classify public welfare functions and operational services, and perfect the social service mechanism for agricultural technology promotion. Implement the "Agricultural Technology to Households" initiative and expand the scale of special subsidies for major agricultural technology promotion projects. Vigorously promote agricultural mechanisation, and elevate the mechanised operation levels during crucial agricultural periods, for key crops, essential production links, and main grain-producing areas.
Strengthen the construction of a modern rural circulation system. Actively advance the upgrading of agricultural product wholesale markets, promoting market-bound agricultural product grading and standardised packaging. Develop modern circulation industries in rural areas and improve the rural market environment. In 2006, perfect the national "Green Channel" network for fresh agricultural products to achieve inter-provincial connectivity.
Stabilise grain production. It's essential to adhere to the principle of achieving basic self-sufficiency in grain based on domestic resources, stabilise grain production, continually increase grain planting benefits, constantly enhance production capacity, make moderate use of international markets, and actively maintain a balance between supply and demand.
Actively advance the adjustment of agricultural structure. Speed up the construction of advantageous agricultural product industrial belts, actively develop characteristic agriculture, green food, and ecological agriculture, protect well-known agricultural brands, and foster and expand leading industries. Strengthen consultations on agricultural product foreign trade and enhance China's ability to handle international trade disputes related to agriculture.
Develop the industrialisation of agriculture. Cultivate a batch of competitive, influential leading enterprises and enterprise cluster demonstration bases, promote the integrated organisational forms of leading enterprises, cooperative organisations, and farmers, and ensure farmers gain more benefits from industrialised operations. Support the development of leading enterprises and subsidise farmers to participate in agricultural insurance through leading enterprises. Develop bulk agricultural product futures markets and "order agriculture". Actively guide and support farmers to develop various types of specialised cooperative economic organisations, accelerate the legislative process, enhance support, and establish credit, fiscal, tax, and registration systems conducive to the development of farmers' cooperative economic organisations.
Accelerate the development of circular agriculture. Vigorously develop agricultural technologies that conserve resources and protect the environment, focusing on promoting comprehensive waste utilisation technology, related industrial linkage technology, and renewable energy development and utilisation technology. Actively develop resource-saving agriculture that conserves land, water, fertiliser, pesticides, and seeds, encourages the production and use of electricity-saving, oil-saving agricultural machinery, and agricultural product processing equipment, and strives to improve the utilisation efficiency of agricultural inputs. Intensify efforts to prevent and control non-point source pollution from agriculture.
Promote a continuous increase in farmers' incomes, solidifying the economic foundation for the construction of a new rural area.
Broaden channels for farmers to increase their incomes. Actively develop high-quality, distinctive, and high value-added agricultural products, promote "one village, one product", and achieve value-added and efficiency gains. Accelerate the transfer of rural labour to increase farmers' migrant worker income..
Protect the legitimate rights and interests of migrant workers.
Stabilise, refine, and strengthen the direct subsidy policy for agriculture and farmers. Strengthen the national support and protection system for agriculture and farmers. In line with the needs of agricultural production and market changes, establish and improve the support and protection system for grain farmers.
Strengthen poverty alleviation efforts. Implement a village-by-village approach to poverty alleviation based on local conditions, intensify efforts to improve the production and living conditions in impoverished areas, focus on transferring and training labour in impoverished areas, support leading enterprises to drive structural adjustments in impoverished areas, and expand income channels for impoverished households. For impoverished populations in areas lacking survival conditions, implement relocation-based poverty alleviation.
Strengthen the construction of rural infrastructure to improve the environment for agricultural development.
Significant efforts must be put into the development of agricultural water conservancy, arable land quality, and ecological construction. Along with prioritising major water conservancy projects, there should be continuous strengthening of agricultural water conservancy. There's a need to speed up the development of water-saving irrigation and vigorously promote water-saving technologies. Intensive efforts are required to enhance arable land quality, implement a new round of fertile soil projects, scientifically apply chemical fertilisers, guide the increase in organic fertilisers, and comprehensively improve soil fertility. Increase soil testing and formula fertilisation subsidies and continue the protective farming demonstration projects and soil organic matter enhancement subsidy pilots. Combat desertification and actively implement comprehensive control projects for soil erosion in areas like desertified lands and the Northeast Black Earth region.
Accelerate the construction of rural infrastructure. Focus should be given to the construction of basic living facilities that farmers urgently need. Speed up the construction of safe rural drinking water projects. Accelerate the pace of rural energy construction, actively promoting biogas, straw gasification, mini-hydro, solar energy, wind power and other clean energy technologies in suitable areas. Accelerate the popularisation of household biogas and promptly complete the continuation of rural power grid transformation projects. Strengthen planning and management of mini-hydro development, further enhance rural road construction, and actively promote the construction of agricultural informatisation.
Strengthen village planning and governance of the living environment.
Accelerate the development of rural social undertakings and cultivate new farmers to advance the construction of a new countryside.
Accelerate the development of compulsory education in rural areas.
Conduct large-scale training for rural labour skills. Continue to support new farmer science and technology training, improve farmers' farming skills, promote scientific farming; enhance farmers' ability to switch professions and positions; integrate various rural education resources and develop rural vocational education and adult education.
Actively develop rural health services. Actively promote the pilot work of the new rural cooperative medical system. From 2006, both central and local finances significantly increased subsidies, and by 2008, the new rural cooperative medical system was basically universal in rural areas throughout the country. Prosper rural cultural undertakings.
Gradually establish a rural social security system. Gradually increase public financial investments in the construction of a rural social security system. Further improve the rural "five guarantees" system for the elderly, the especially poor, and disaster-stricken populations. Explore establishing a rural social pension insurance system compatible with rural economic development and other security measures. Actively explore the establishment of a minimum living guarantee system in rural areas.
Comprehensively deepen rural reforms and ensure institutional guarantees for the construction of a new countryside.
Further deepen comprehensive rural reforms, with the main content being rural tax and fee reforms. In 2006, the agricultural tax was abolished nationwide. Through pilots and summarising experiences, actively and prudently promote township institutional reforms, truly transform the functions of township governments, address the issues of bloated institutions and personnel in line with the requirements of strengthening public services, strictly abiding by the law, and improving administrative efficiency, and genuinely strengthen the government's social management and public service functions.
Accelerate rural financial reforms. Vigorously cultivate small loan organisations initiated by natural persons, corporate legal persons or association legal persons, and relevant departments should promptly formulate management methods. Guide farmers to develop mutual aid financial organisations. Standardise private lending. Steadily promote the pilot work of agricultural policy insurance, and accelerate the development of various forms and channels of agricultural insurance. Localities can solve the problem of loan mortgage guarantees for farmers and small and medium-sized rural enterprises by establishing guarantee funds or guarantee institutions.
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