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Farming needs to go large scale to deepen agricultural structure reform


03-08-2017 08:42 BJT

Full coverage: 2017 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

Now in Beijing, Huo Xuexi has gotten the chance to discuss his proposal on the agricultural supply side reform with other political advisors during the CPPCC session. CGTN's Tang Bo continues the report on the expert’s suggestions on how China should deepen the reform.

Another routine panel discussion. More than 50 political advisors are looking back on the governmental efforts in last year' agricultural supply side reform, and offering their suggestions for this year.

Among them is Huo Xuexi, a professor from Northwest Agriculture and Forestry Univerisity. He believes the sector needs to expand its scale of operation and production.

"China’s agricultural industry won’t be competitive if its scope is not promoted. Small scale farming means high costs, where high technologies won’t work efficiently. The increasing prices of agricultural products will eventually affect China’s agricultural safety," Huo said.

However, some insist small scale farming is more practical for China, where arable land is limited.

Some also worry that a rapid change towards large-scale farming could cause a high unemployment rate in rural areas.

For decades, the government has been buying unsold agricultural products to protect farmers.

But that on the other hand has brought up agricultural market prices.

The situation is also made worse when cheaper, foreign products enter the domestic market.

To revive the agriculture sector and make it more competitive, China brought up the idea of a supply side reform in late 2015.

"China has reduced its government acquisition and increased subsidies to farmers. So farmers will be less dependent on government support, and have to deal with their unsold products on their own. That is in line with market rules," Huo said.

The agricultural supply side reform has seen great achievements since adjustments were made to subsidy policies last year. Huo hopes the central government will continue to focus their efforts on this; and at the same time, reduce its administrative intervention, in order to allow the market to reveal the true potential of agricultural products.

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