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Agricultural plan to be released soon

By ZHAO YIMENG| China Daily| Updated: December 9, 2021 L M S


A farmer dries black carp at an agricultural cooperative in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday. Carp farming is a local tradition. Sales of dried carp reached 20 million yuan ($3.15 million) last year. LIN YUNLONG/FOR CHINA DAILY

The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for agricultural and rural modernization will be released soon following its approval by the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Nov 2, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday.

Vice-Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Deng Xiaogang said the plan will focus on promoting agricultural technology, rural industry and the supply of major agricultural products.

Given that grain supply is the priority in agricultural and rural modernization, the plan proposes to stabilize sown area, strengthen the protection and quality of arable land, and enhance agriculture's resistance to risks, Deng said.

Zeng Yande, head of the ministry's development and planning department, said arable land and seeds are vital to ensure food production.

The plan proposes to promote the construction of high-quality farmland while producing more grain on limited arable land by developing new seeds.

"In recent years, our grain yield has increased significantly, and variety improvement contributed to more than half of the increase," Zeng said, adding that the plan stresses the vitalization of the seed industry.

Innovation in management and the use of machinery will also be promoted in the plan.

It calls for developing family farms and expanding agricultural cooperatives to provide services and reduce farmers' costs.

The plan proposes promoting the development of advanced agricultural machinery in crop cultivation, harvesting and storage.

"We need to improve the level of agricultural mechanization and use machines to substitute for labor," Zeng said.

Deng said agricultural and rural modernization is the final goal of rural vitalization.

"The plan aims to realize the common prosperity of farmers and rural areas," he said.

The plan will focus on increasing farmers' incomes and improving their lives, and proposes to develop industries and infrastructure, narrowing the gap between urban and rural residents.

Wu Xiao, director of the National Development and Reform Commission's department of rural economy said rural consumption should be upgraded over the course of the 14th Five-Year Plan period.

"We will launch campaigns for renewing household appliances in some areas and carry out a new round of subsidies to bring cars to the countryside," Wu said.

China will promote high-level opening-up in agriculture and stabilize the international supply chains of agricultural products such as soybeans, sugar and cotton, he said.

"The country will play an important role in expanding agricultural cooperation among countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative," Wu added.