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Farmer reaps harvest of expertise

Updated: Feb 24,2015 4:48 PM     english.gov.cn

Premier Li Keqiang (R) visits Deqiang Farm in Lingxian county, in the city of Dezhou, East China’s Shandong province, July 24, 2014.[Photo/Chinanews.com]

Feng Shuqiang’s farm in Lingxian county, in the city of Dezhou, Shandong province, is a modern family farm - and it also welcomed Premier Li Keqiang in July 2014.

Feng said the Premier went straight to the fields after arriving at Deqiang Farm, knelt down to check the seedlings, and also grabbed a handful of soil to check the moisture content - before looking at the farm’s agricultural machinery, seeds and fertilizer.

“I couldn’t believe that the Premier of such a big country would spend nearly an hour to inspect the whole process of running a family farming”, said Feng.

Premier Li Keqiang (R) visits Deqiang Farm in Lingxian county, in the city of Dezhou, East China’s Shandong province, July 24, 2014.[Photo/China News Service]

Feng worked in IT and catering in Beijing before he returned home to Lingxian to establish Deqiang Farm in 2013, as he was keen to take advantage of the government’s policies - and its determination - to develop modern agriculture.

The farm, located on 10,000 mu (66.67 hectares), was acquired through land transfers and leasing, and it is the first local family farm specializing in vegetables and fruit trees, and growing nursery plants.

The Premier said that modern agriculture supports the country’s food security, boosts farm owners’ profits and farmers’ income, adding: “I hope you will join hands to seek common prosperity.”

Feng Shuqiang (L) and a co-worker discuss tomato yields.[Photo/Chinanews.com]

The Premier has long stressed the importance of modern agriculture.

His first inspection visit after becoming Premier involved a tour of Tianniang Farm in Changshu, Jiangsu province, where he praised the new patterns of rural cooperatives that connect companies with family farms.

Premier Li also highlighted issues concerning agriculture, farmers and rural areas in the government work report last year.

Additionally, during a recent meeting, the Premier compared the current rural reform to the household contract responsibility system of 30 years ago, saying that farmers should be granted decision-making rights - and they should also be encouraged to explore different ideas themselves.

Feng checks a tomato plant.[Photo/Chinanews.com]

Feng said he was very impressed by Premier Li’s requirements concerning the management of a modern farm. The Premier called for “moderate scale management and completely respecting farmers’ wishes, in accordance with the requirements of modern agricultural technology as well as laws and regulations,” and he also said that agricultural cooperation should be conducted in an open and fair manner.

Keeping the Premier’s words in mind, Feng said he has been running his farm “very carefully” and is dedicated to achieving sustainable development. Regarding his new year resolutions, Feng said he hopes subsidies for large scale agricultural machinery and types of agricultural insurances would be increased - and a subsidy program concerning households with land suitable for growing crops would be implemented.

However, following a continuous drought, his most urgent requirement is rain in spring - in time for the harvest.

“In July last year, the premier asked if I expected to have a good harvest and I answered in the affirmative”, said Feng. “This year, I would tell the Premier that we are doing our utmost for the upcoming harvest. “

Feng speaks to a reporter. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

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