BEIJING — One in every four Chinese villages had e-commerce distribution sites by the end of 2016, official data showed on Dec 14, reflecting an improved logistics network in rural areas.
By the end of 2016, 99.7 percent of villages had access to electricity, while 11.9 percent could use natural gas, according to results of the country’s third national agriculture census.
A total of 91.3 percent of rural towns had centralized water supply, and 90.8 percent had centralized garbage treatment, while 53.5 percent of villages had finished or partly finished toilet renovation projects.
In terms of public services, a majority of towns had libraries, kindergartens and healthcare institutions, but relatively few had theaters and sports stadiums.
China’s agriculture census has been conducted every 10 years since 1996 to collect information on rural production, infrastructure, public services and living conditions.
The third census involved 5 million census takers, more than 200 million rural households and over 3 million businesses and other market entities.
While living standards in cities have drastically improved with China’s stellar economic growth, the living environment for the country’s 600 million rural people still has huge room for change.
As of the end of 2016, there were 43.35 million rural Chinese living below the national poverty line.
To spur rural development, the Chinese government has looked to e-commerce, tourism and modern agriculture for opportunities.
In the latest step, the State Council on Dec 13 called for more efforts to foster new types of agricultural business in the country.
Projects will be launched to support diverse business entities that integrate different industries and link to the internet Plus strategy, said a statement released after a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
Training plans will be implemented to cultivate new types of professional farmers to spur entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas and lift more people out of poverty, the statement said.