Document sets goals for rural work this year
The No 1 Central Document for 2022 was released on Tuesday, underscoring ensuring food security and preventing a large-scale reoccurrence of poverty as the priorities for this year's work on agriculture and rural affairs.
The document, unveiled by central authorities, stressed advancing rural vitalization, while pushing ahead with continuing breakthroughs in core agricultural technology and increasing farmers' incomes.
As the first policy statement released by the country's central authorities every year, the document is seen as an indicator of policy tools for work in rural areas. Agricultural and rural affairs have been high on central authorities' agenda for 19 consecutive years.
Zheng Fengtian, a professor of the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University of China, said the document stipulated the two bottom lines and outlined key tasks to be accomplished in the second year of advancing rural vitalization.
Ensuring national food security and preventing sliding back into poverty have been mentioned in recent conferences on rural work, but this is the first time the No 1 document has set them as bottom lines, Zheng said.
"The bottom lines are the most fundamental demand on our work regarding agriculture, rural areas, and farmers, which means we must accomplish (these goals) this year," he added.
Grain output this year should be stabilized at above 650 million metric tons and the country must retain a red line of 120 million hectares of arable land, according to the document.
Meanwhile, China will greatly increase the capacity of soybean and oil crops and promote the combined planting of corn and soybeans, while increasing subsidies for rotation of arable land and incentives for counties that are large producers of edible oils, it said.
The supply of basic agricultural products, including meat, milk and vegetables, will also be guaranteed.
The minimum price the government pays to purchase rice and wheat will be increased, and subsidies for corn and soybean producers will be made more stable, it added.
The document urged authorities to strictly implement measures to protect arable land and strengthen regulations governing its use.
China will nurture 6.67 million hectares of high-quality farmland and protect 5.3 million hectares of black soil this year, and the third national soil survey will be launched, it said.
To prevent large-scale reoccurrence of poverty among rural residents, the monitoring system will be improved to give targeted support, according to the document.
The proportion of the central government's rural vitalization subsidy in developing rural industries will be gradually expanded, mainly to address shortages in technology, infrastructure and marketing.
The document said each county that has shaken off poverty should cultivate a leading local industry and develop family workshops to increase the incomes of rural people.
Farmers are encouraged to get jobs or start businesses in or around their hometown. Policies should be implemented to stabilize the employment of migrant workers, the document said.
It also stressed that China will continue promoting and implementing plans to improve living conditions in rural areas, with more efforts targeted at meeting farmers' needs.
The document also outlines measures to strengthen the Party's overall leadership on work regarding agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
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