A new guideline supporting rural entrepreneurship and innovation will enable more migrant workers, college graduates and those in high-tech sectors to start businesses in rural areas and help improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector, a senior official said.
In a guideline issued late last month, the State Council said it would further expand market access, increase financial support and provide more training courses to encourage more people to start businesses in rural areas.
Chen Xiaohua, vice-minister of agriculture, said in a news conference on Dec 1 that the country has seen more than 5.7 million people, including 4.5 million migrant workers, moving to rural areas to start new businesses in recent years.
“We hope to further broaden the channels of funding, technology and talent flowing to rural areas,” Chen said.
The authorities will support the development of startups in areas such as large-scale agriculture, agricultural products processing, leisure agriculture and rural tourism, he added.
Chen said the measures are in line with the country’s urbanization efforts, as the country registered 277 million migrant workers flowing from rural areas to urban areas last year.
“The people who decided to start their businesses in rural areas did so out of their own volition,” he said.
According to the guideline, those who move to rural areas to set up startups will also be covered by social insurance, while those who hold a residential permit can also have their children receive education in the area where they work.
Chen said the agricultural ministry hopes that the trend of rural entrepreneurship will also help solve the problem of “left-behind children” and a declining labor force in rural areas.
“Returning migrant workers can bring modern technology, lifestyle and management to rural areas, helping to improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector and the competitiveness of agricultural products,” he said.