Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment: A Shin­ing Star

Beijing Review - - EDITOR’S DESK -

Once again, China’s an­nual au­tumn grain out­put ex­ceeded 600 bil­lion kg. That is enough even for a coun­try of nearly 1.4 bil­lion peo­ple to be self-suf­fi­cient. This is the sixth con­sec­u­tive year that China has regis­tered a grain out­put of over 600 bil­lion kg.

Dur­ing an in­spec­tion tour of north­east China’s Hei­longjiang Prov­ince in Septem­ber, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said that Chi­nese peo­ple should fill their bowls with their own grain.

A self-re­liant food sup­ply has long been the goal of the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple. Since the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy was in­tro­duced in 1978, China’s grain out­put has been con­tin­u­ously im­prov­ing, not only en­sur­ing the sur­vival of the large pop­u­la­tion but also mak­ing peo­ple’s diet in­creas­ingly di­verse.

Hei­longjiang has made an ex­tra­or­di­nary con­tri­bu­tion to China’s food se­cu­rity, with its grain pro­duc­tion and sales rank­ing first in the coun­try for seven con­sec­u­tive years. As this year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­form and open­ing up, Bei­jing Re­view re­porters trav­eled to Hei­longjiang to wit­ness and record the prov­ince’s achieve­ment in agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment. They dis­cov­ered that the prov­ince has be­come an ex­em­plar of China’s agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion.

Food se­cu­rity, agri­cul­ture and the de­vel­op­ment of ru­ral so­ci­ety are cru­cial is­sues for China. Those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas ac­count for the ma­jor­ity of China’s vast pop­u­la­tion. A strength­ened agri­cul­tural sec­tor is key for China to be­come a stronger na­tion with agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion.

Af­ter 40 years of re­form and open­ing up, China’s agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion has de­vel­oped sig­nif­i­cantly, with sta­ple food grain, meat and eggs in am­ple sup­ply. The qual­ity and safety of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts is also steadily im­prov­ing and the mech­a­niza­tion of pro­duc­tion has been ad­vanced.

An agri­cul­tural in­dus­try un­der­pinned by mod­ern equip­ment and ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy has come into be­ing.

Hei­longjiang has taken the lead in agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion and plays an im­por­tant role in en­sur­ing grain se­cu­rity for the coun­try. The eco­nom­i­cally de­vel­oped coastal ar­eas in eastern China, sub­ur­ban ar­eas of large cities and some ad­di­tional lo­cal­i­ties have also re­al­ized agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion.

How­ever, due to China’s im­mense ter­ri­tory, agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment lev­els vary be­tween places. Most ru­ral ar­eas are still re­stricted by nat­u­ral con­di­tions. China’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor faces many prob­lems. In­creas­ing la­bor and land costs and com­pe­ti­tion from for­eign prod­ucts are just two of them. The amount of agri­cul­tural im­ports has in­creased year by year since China joined the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2001.

The only way to solve the prob­lem lies in learn­ing from the ex­pe­ri­ences of Hei­longjiang to pro­mote agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion and strengthen the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try as a whole.

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