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Latest policy reinforces backing for agriculture
Source:China Crop Protection Industry Association  author: Ellie Xu
  date: 2017-03-27  
China will deepen supply-side structural reform in agriculture to develop the sector, according to a recent policy document.
The major problems facing Chinas agricultural sector are structural ones, mainly on the supply side, according to the document by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council.
The document calls for improving the structures of the industry, promoting "green" production, extending the sectors industrial and value chain, boosting innovation, consolidating shared rural development and enhancing rural reforms.
This is the 14th year in a row that the "No 1 central document" has been devoted to agriculture, farmers and rural areas.
The "No 1 central document" is the name traditionally given to the first policy statement released by the central authorities in the year and is seen as an indicator of policy priorities.
When carrying forward supply-side structural reform for the sector, national grain security must be guaranteed, according to the document.
It also said that supply-side structural reform in the agricultural sector would be a long and challenging process, demanding that the relationship between government and market be well handled and in the interests of all stakeholders.
China started structural reforms in its agricultural sector a few years ago. Partly due to structural adjustment, Chinas grain output dropped slightly in 2016, ending a 12-year rising streak. The yield stood at about 616 million metric tons, down by about 5.2 million tons or 0.8 percent year-on-year.
The gist of supply-side reform in Chinas agriculture sector is to increase the output of high-quality products based on green and innovative production.
The country will maintain its zero increase in the use of pesticides and fertilizers and vigorously control water usage in the sector.
For better farm produce, a group of innovation centers and alliances will be created, and outstanding research will be enhanced.
The reform also aims to refine the quality supervision and standards system for farm produce, control soil pollution and encourage agricultural businesses to gain international certifications.
China will promote the export of competitive farm produce, cross-border operation of agricultural enterprises and the establishment of global leaders in the sector.
China will encourage migrant workers to return to rural areas and start businesses, while stepping up training for professional farmers, including professional agricultural managers.
Authorities will offer favorable taxation policies for business startups in rural areas, in addition to support with financing, land use and social insurance. Local governments are encouraged to start business parks and incubators for the returnees.
The nation will also encourage college graduates, entrepreneurs and returned students from overseas to start businesses and bring technological and managerial expertise to rural areas.
Institutions of higher learning will open more programs and courses on rural planning and rural house design.