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Adhere to Agricultural Development Featuring Quality, Eco-Friendliness andBrand Effect and Advance the Rural Vitalization Strategy in Full Swing

Source: Zhang Yuxiang Date: 2018-03-14

Guest Research Fellow with the Office of State Counselors and Former Chief Economist of the Ministry of Agriculture
 

For the first time ever, the report of the 19th CPC Congress put forward the “rural vitalization strategy” and specified the general requirements of building rural areas with thriving businesses, pleasant living environments, social etiquette and civility, effective governance and prosperity. And concrete deployments were laid out in the No. 1 Document of the CPC Central Committee disclosed recently. In his Report on the Work of the Government made at the first meeting of the 13th National People’s Congress on 5 March, Premier Li Keqiang stressed once again that the rural vitalization strategy should be vigorously implemented and that new dynamic of rural development should be brought out through reform and innovation. Given the change in principal contradictions of the Chinese society, transition of the Chinese economy towards high-quality development, and the current features of agricultural and rural development in China, the key to implementation of this strategy is industrial prosperity. To develop high-quality agriculture, promoting quality, green and brand products lies at the core, and quality and efficiency of the agricultural supply system need to be enhanced.

To develop agriculture of quality, eco-friendliness and brand effect, we should transform the agricultural development mode and actively establish modern agricultural industrial, production and operation systems. Agricultural development should aim at producing more quality, green and brand products, and agricultural reform featuring greater quality, efficiency and impetus need to be furthered. To be specific, we must make efforts in the following respects, namely, restructuring, optimization of ecological environment and mechanisms, as well as stronger awareness of brand effect, training of main entities and scientific and technological support.

First, restructuring. We should shift the focus of agricultural development from output to quality, and supply-side structural reform of agriculture should be the centerpiece. While ensuring national food security, we should accelerate agricultural restructuring with market as the signpost, farmers as the main actors, and establishment of an agricultural production pattern proportional to the carrying capacity of resources and environment as the goal. With adjustment and optimization of quality as the starting point, we should increase supply of high-quality green produce to meet the upgraded demand for agricultural products. While achieving rational distribution of productivity by restructuring agricultural production across regions in accordance with their respective endowments, we should also restructure and optimize grain economy to ensure rice and wheat production, adjust corn production, stabilize cotton, oil and sugar production, and expand production of soybeans and other grain. While restructuring and optimizing the proportion of planting and breeding in agricultural development and promoting balanced planting of grain and grass, integration of farming and animal husbandry, as well as circular development, we should also adjust and optimize industrial structure to achieve the goal of developing primary industry of strength, secondary industry of quality and tertiary industry of flexibility as well as integrated development of the three industries.

Second, optimization of ecological environment and mechanisms.

Optimization of ecological environment. According to the requirements for high-quality agricultural development and with sound ecological environment as the objective, we should implement the system of compartmentalizing farmland according to its function, promote the mode of green production, and execute measures, namely, controlling aggregate use of agricultural water, reducing the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide, as well as dealing with such problems as pollution from livestock and poultry, mulch film recycling and straw burning. We should step up monitoring and restoration of polluted soil, expand the scale of crop rotation and fallow land, accelerate prevention and control of water pollution, and promote treatment of livestock and poultry feces and comprehensive utilization of straw, in order to tackle non-point source pollution and remove resources and environment constraints. We should improve rural living environment for the goal of building beautiful and comfortable countryside and steer agricultural and rural development towards “green, eco-friendly and sustainable development that meets people’s demand for higher living quality”.

Optimization of mechanisms. We should establish and improve the system, mechanisms and policies for developing agriculture of quality, eco-friendliness and brand effect. Reform of the land system should be deepened via orderly transfer of management rights, while ensuring collective ownership of rural land and contractual rights of farmers. In light of the needs of modern agricultural development, we should make an effort in building an all-dimensional compound modern agricultural management system featuring management by rural households as the basis, cooperation and union as the bond, and social services as the support. We should integrate urban and rural development, improve the support and protection system of agricultural products, push forward reform of the produce storage system and the price formation mechanism, so as to give price a decisive role in the allocation of agricultural resources.

Third, strengthen awareness of brand effect, training of main entities, and scientific and technological support.

Strengthen awareness of brand effect. We should implement the strategy of developing agriculture of quality. On the basis of standardization, we should improve environment of production areas and better standardize ecological process, exercise strict supervision of agricultural inputs, improve the standardization system of produce quality and food safety, and facilitate integrated agricultural development featuring eco-friendliness, quality, characteristics and brand effect. We should actively develop pollution-free, green and organic agricultural products with geographical identifications as well as public brands for agricultural products from the same region. We should also promote establishment of the “five areas and one park” (namely, the state modern agricultural demonstration area, the grain production functional area, the protection area for major agricultural products, the leading production area for specialist agricultural products, the pilot and demonstration area for sustainable agricultural development, and the modern agricultural industrial park). We need to draw enterprises’ attention to creating brand names and improving quality and brand effect of products. We should establish and improve platforms for promoting agricultural brands, strengthen connection between production and marketing, and advance establishment of a traceability system for produce quality and safety. Brand advertisement and promotion activities can be carried out in various ways to popularize the brand.

Strengthen training of main entities. We should give full play to the leading role of new agricultural business entities, upgrade scale management, improve benefit sharing mechanisms, and raise the entities’ capacity. We should step up support for the new agricultural business entities, improve financial credit services, and strengthen insurance support. We should promote inclusive development of new business entities and small farmers, establish and improve systems and mechanisms for cultivating small farmers and involving them in the development of the whole industrial chain, and encourage small farmers to integrate themselves into modern agricultural development.

Strengthen scientific and technological support. We should further the strategy of innovation-driven development, highlight establishment of the national agricultural innovation system, and speed up formation of a new pattern of agricultural science and technology with national scientific research institutes as the backbone and enterprises as the main actors. We should promote development and application of eco-friendly agricultural technologies that enhance both production quality and efficiency, deepen reform of the agricultural science and technology system, elevate capacity of independent innovation in agricultural science and technology, and strive to make major breakthroughs in seed industry and other areas. We should improve high-standard farmland and promote application of the Internet and big data in agriculture. We should enhance agricultural mechanization and set up an industrial system of agricultural machinery and equipment that suits national conditions, takes root in industry, and develops with synergy, efficiency, and support.
 
Executive Editor: Jiang Shengxin