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China makes progress in agricultural reforms

China’s agriculture authorities said tremendous progress has been made with the country’s agricultural reforms over the past five years.

At the State Council news conference on Sept 29, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said the country’s grain production capacity has reached new highs, with annual output exceeding 600 million metric tons for the last four years.

He added that science and technology is playing a crucial role in transforming Chinese agriculture, with the adoption of high-tech machinery seeing a move away from manual labor.

The State Council Information Office holds a news conference on China’s agricultural reforms in Beijing on Sept 29, 2017.[Photo/CGTN]

According to Han Changfu, the level of agriculture mechanization has been greatly improved with the comprehensive mechanization level of the main crops being well over 65 percent. In wheat production, an overall mechanization has been basically achieved. In corn and rice production, the mechanization level is over 75 percent.

Meanwhile, the income of Chinese farmers has grown by nearly 50 percent over the last 5 years, with 7 million people having returned to the countryside to start new businesses. As more start-ups choose to settle down in rural areas, authorities say this could be a key growth point in the future. Han noted that this is mainly due to supply-side structural reform.

“We’re developing market-oriented agriculture, deepening the reforms and optimizing the agricultural structure. Produce processing, agricultural tourism and e-commerce are thriving, and agricultural industries are integrated. In 2016, the trading volume of produce e-commerce reached 220 billion yuan, and revenue of agricultural tourism was 570 billion yuan. We are seeing a more ecological, high-quality and safer agricultural production and supply,” Han said.