Agricultural Supply-side Reform on the Loess Plateau
THE Loess Plateau of Shaanxi Province has traditionally been a poverty-stricken area. Local farmers would grow grains like winter wheat and spring corn, and every July, August, and September plow the fields and collect rain water. The plateau featured desolate scenery with dry, powdery, wind-blown soil, with barely a trace of green.
However, years of hard work by local people spent on developing the fruit industry while balancing economic development and ecological protection have achieved sustainable development. This is manifest in a stable grain yield, a continuous increase in rural incomes and an improved ecological environment.
Supply-side Reform Imperative
In recent years, China’s agricultural sector has faced three problems. First is the imbalance between the overall grain supply and demand. The grain price has decreased, while imports and domestic stock both hit record highs. Speeding up adjustment to the production structure, therefore, is imperative. Second is the lack of a proper system to guarantee a steady increase in rural incomes. Efforts need to be made to expand employment space and channels for farmers. Third is the overdevelopment of agricultural resources and extensive farming. These need to be changed to curb deterioration of the ecological environment. Efforts should also be made to develop new industries and promote integration of the agricultural industrial chain and upgrading of the agricultural value chain.
On March 8 this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that, both now and in the near future, efforts should focus on pushing forward supply- side structural reforms, improving comprehensive benefits of the agricultural industry, and making the sector more competitive.
Shaanxi Province is composed of three natural areas: the Loess Plateau, Guanzhong Plain, and Qinba mountain-