Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > Biz Video

New Momentum ep.1: Family farms plant seeds for prosperity

Reporter: Lin Nan 丨 CCTV.com

04-11-2016 12:50 BJT

Farming has long been seen as an overworked and underpaid job. Many people, especially the youth in the countryside, choose to leave the fields. Now, the stereotype is changing. A pilot family farm scheme in Shanghai's Songjiang District has made farming a career with a decent income.

37-year-old Li Chunfeng never thought he would be a farmer like his father one day, during his student days. But now he owns a family farm with about 23 hectares land in Shanghai's suburban district Songjiang. Spring is the busiest season.

"This green weed is an organic fertilizer. I am ploughing this land to restore soil fertility for the rice planting in May,"  Li said.

Li worked in a factory after school, since there wasn't enough farmland at home. On top of that, farming wasn't attractive to young people, because of the low income and hard work until the family farm scheme was piloted here in 2007.

In the past decades, more and more farmers have moved to the cities to seek better-paying jobs amid China's urbanization. The family farm scheme aims to provide a decent income to farmers to make a living.

It used to be that farmers were confined to a small patch of land. The land circulation system allows qualified farmers to sign a lease with the village authority and rent the management rights to a large patch of land from other families. Songjiang has registered 1,119 family farms with an average size of 8.2 hectares. They account for 92.5% of the total farmland in the district.

"The large-scale family farm is good for promoting mechanized and modern agriculture technologies, which improve the farmland yield and efficiency significantly. The soil and environment is more sustainable, as we are guiding farmers' practice," Zhou Liuchang, director of Songjiang District Agriculture Committee in Shanghai, said.

And the reduced use of chemical fertilizers and better processing technology is paying off.

"The price of Songjiang-produced rice is twice as that of normal rice. There are many repeat customers of this product," He Hongjuan, manager of Songlin Selection Shop, said.

In 2015, the average household income of a family farm was 118 thousand yuan, or about 20 thousand US dollars.Farming is no longer a low-return job here.

"I earned only 2000 yuan a month in the factory. My family can make more than 300 thousand yuan a year by growing rice and raising pigs. I can even take a plane to visit my wife's family. I see farming as a professional career now,"  Li said.

And the next step? The local authorities will slash the current number of 1,119 family farms to about 600 to 800. The goal is to increase the scale for mechanized farming.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat