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Agricultural economy key in poverty fight

2020-5-15 11:40

Farmers carry baskets of navel oranges in an orchard in Huichang, Jiangxi province, in 2019. Many locals have been lifted out of poverty by growing the fruit. [Photo by Chen Zebing/China Daily]

 

Editor's note: As this year's sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference prepare to open next week, China Daily will publish a series of stories focusing on the achievements that have been made and major issues expected to be discussed at the two sessions.

 

A lawmaker wants to see sales platforms linking farmers with consumers built in rural areas to boost agricultural revenues.

 

A political adviser is proposing more benefits for grassroots agricultural technicians to encourage young talent to enter the field.

 

With China less than eight months away from its deadline for ending domestic poverty, politicians are targeting rural affairs and poverty issues in their proposals for the two sessions-the annual gatherings of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body-which are set to open in Beijing next week.

 

The events are customarily held in March, but were postponed this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 

Poverty relief has been one of the most discussed topics in the political arena since late 2012, when China ramped up efforts to stamp out absolute poverty by the end of 2020.

 

The topic is expected to draw even more public attention this year, as top officials have reiterated the central government's determination to reach its zero-poverty goal on schedule despite COVID-19.

 

The novel coronavirus outbreak triggered widespread travel bans and production stoppages this year, leaving many migrant workers-the major breadwinners in many impoverished households-temporarily without any income.

 

It has also led to poor sales of farm produce because of disrupted logistical chains and flagging consumer demand, highlighting growers' vulnerability in times of crisis.

 

Zhang Jindong, a legislator from Jiangsu province and chairman of Suning.com, an e-commerce retailer, said Chinese farmers have long grappled with information asymmetries, which has led to a lack of distribution channels and taken a toll on rural incomes.

 

"There are limited channels for farm produce and rural specialties to reach the consumer market," he said, adding that was partly because the aging rural population struggles to navigate in the e-commerce arena.

 

To address the woes, Zhang proposed that village authorities build platforms to help connect local farmers with consumers using e-commerce and modern logistics services.

 

He also suggested that the authorities roll out tax breaks, funding support and other favorable policies to attract entrepreneurial young people back to the countryside to facilitate the task.

 

Another problem facing farmers is the lack of technological support, which is crucial to boosting agricultural productivity and rural revenues and ensuring national food security.

 

Huang Zonghong, a political adviser from Guizhou province, a major battleground in the fight against rural poverty in southwestern China, said few people were willing to work as agricultural technicians in the countryside due to low salaries and the lack of chances for promotion.

 

"The trend is worth noting, as it bodes ill for agricultural modernization," said Huang, also the deputy head of the Guizhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences and chairman of the Guizhou branch of the Jiu San Society, one of eight China's non-Communist parties.

 

Huang suggested better pay and more training opportunities for agricultural technicians in rural areas and the creation of channels for promotion in an effort to retain talent.

 

2019年,江西省会昌的一个果园里,农民们提着装满脐橙的篮子。许多当地人通过种植这种水果摆脱了贫困。[中国日报陈泽兵摄]


编者按:今年的会议的全国人民代表大会和中国人民政治协商会议全国委员会准备下周开放,《中国日报》将发布一系列故事关注已经取得的成果和重大问题将在两会讨论。


一位立法者希望看到在农村地区建立连接农民和消费者的销售平台,以增加农业收入。


一名政治顾问提议为基层农业技术人员提供更多福利,以鼓励年轻人才进入这一领域。


与中国不到八个月远离国内期限结束贫穷,政客们针对农村事务部和贫困问题在他们的提议两sessions-the一年一度的全国人民代表大会的集会,最高立法机关,和中国人民政治协商会议全国委员会,最高咨询机构——下周将在北京开。


活动通常在3月举行,但今年由于新型冠状病毒大流行而推迟。


自2012年末中国加大力度在2020年底前消除绝对贫困以来,扶贫一直是政治舞台上讨论最多的话题之一。


预计今年这一话题将吸引更多公众关注,因为高层官员已经重申,尽管有新冠肺炎疫情,中央政府仍决心如期实现零贫困目标。


新型冠状病毒疫情在今年引发了广泛的旅行禁令和生产中断,使许多民工暂时没有任何收入,他们是许多贫困家庭的主要经济支柱。


这也导致农产品销售低迷,原因是物流链中断和消费者需求低迷,突显出种植者在危机时期的脆弱性。


江苏省人大代表、电子商务零售商苏宁易购董事长张金东表示,中国农民长期以来一直在应对信息不对称问题,这导致了分销渠道的缺乏,并对农村收入造成了影响。


他表示:“农产品和农村特产进入消费市场的渠道有限。”他补充称,这在一定程度上是因为农村老年人口难以在电子商务领域找到方向。


为了解决这一问题,张建议村委会搭建平台,帮助当地农民与使用电子商务和现代物流服务的消费者建立联系。


他还建议政府出台税收减免、资金支持和其他优惠政策,以吸引有创业精神的年轻人回到农村,为这项任务提供便利。


农民面临的另一个问题是缺乏技术支持,这对提高农业生产率和农村收入以及确保国家粮食安全至关重要。


贵州省是中国西南地区反农村贫困斗争的主战场。贵州省政治顾问黄宗宏表示,由于工资低、晋升机会少,很少有人愿意在农村从事农业技术人员的工作。


“这一趋势值得注意,因为它预示着农业现代化的恶兆,”黄说。他同时也是贵州农业科学院副院长和九三学社贵州分会主席。


黄建议提高农村地区农业技术人员的工资和更多的培训机会,并创造晋升渠道,以留住人才。

 

原作者: LI LEI and YANG JUN 来自: china daily