Agricultural authorities in China will take more measures to encourage people to start up businesses in rural areas to promote social and economic development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on June 15.
“The key to carrying out the rural rejuvenation strategy lies in talent,” Zong Jinyao, chief for agricultural product processing at the ministry, said at a news conference. “We should promote entrepreneurship while carrying out the strategy and establish a favorable environment for business in rural areas.”
The strategy, put forward by China’s top leadership last year, aimed to balance development between rural and urban areas to achieve modernization across the whole country.
Last year, 7.4 million people flowed from cities to rural areas to start businesses, with 54 percent of them adopting technologies such as the internet in business, Zong said.
They have helped promote new technologies and created opportunities in rural areas, and have become a driving force for economic and social development, said Pan Libing, deputy chief for agricultural product processing at the ministry.
To encourage entrepreneurship in rural areas, the ministry will carry out training programs to cultivate business startups and innovation, he said.
The ministry will accelerate the development of industrial parks in rural areas that have better infrastructure, facilities and management so they become bases for innovation and models for development, he said.
Businesses such as agricultural product processing, leisure tourism and e-commerce will get more support from the ministry, he said.
Agritourism has been developing rapidly in recent years. Last year, urban residents made more than 2.8 billion visits to rural areas, spending more than 740 billion yuan ($115 billion), the ministry said.
“To rejuvenate rural areas it’s necessary to attract various sorts of talent,” said Jin Sanlin, a researcher for rural economies at the Development Research Center of the State Council. “It is necessary to create a favorable environment in rural areas so people can stay, including an improved living environment, better services for businesses and more favorable financial policies for agricultural enterprises.”