China vows technology, policy boost for small farming households in new guidelines
China's central government on Thursday issued guidelines to empower the country's small-scale farming households so that their development is aligned with that of modern agriculture.
In the policy announced by the State Council, China's cabinet, the gov-ernment vowed to empower small farming households, improve their organization, increase their incomes, set up a comprehensive social ser-vices system for such households, and design policies to support such drives.
The policy was rolled out days after the customary "No.1 Central Doc-ument," which each year focuses on agriculture, added a sense of urgency to the development of the domestic farming sector in the face of deteri-orating external conditions.
The policy acknowledged that the small farming household economic model will prevail in China, the world's most populous country, for the current and foreseeable future, despite the nation's drive toward modern agriculture.
Vocational training, environmental awareness education, the promotion of modern agricultural machinery and improved infrastructure at the basic level were highlighted in the guideline.
It also urged leading companies in China to lead small farming households to seamlessly integrate with modern agriculture by absorbing them into the modern industrial chain.
It called for more efforts in bringing agricultural big data, the Internet of Things, mobile internet and artificial intelligence to such households so that farmers can benefit from China's development in information tech-nology and the digital economy.
Zhu Danpeng, a Guangzhou-based food industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday that the promotion of technology will help break bottlenecks in the Chi-nese agriculture sector.
"The sector has good products but it is not connected well enough to China's industrial chain, and China's digital sector has not fully expanded into the agricultural sector. This underdevelopment has affected the whole economy, given that urban consumption upgrading is rapidly developing," Zhu said, noting that the integration of technology and small agribusiness will mean an upgrade for the latter.
The government also called on financial institutions to accept more types of collateral for loans to farming households, as long as risks can be contained and businesses are sustainable, as part of its broad push to support families.