Agri­cul­tural Sup­ply-side Re­form on the Loess Plateau

China Today (English) - - SOCIETY/LIFE - By ZHANG ZHENGBIN & DUAN ZIYUAN

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-

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