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Across China: "Gig farming" facilitates efficient use of farmland

2020-6-23 11:59

 

TAIYUAN, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Li Suoju has found a new way of farming to take care of her small patch of wheat in Huishi Village of Yicheng County, north China's Shanxi Province, without disrupting her work at a restaurant in a nearby town.

Thanks to the thriving internet-based gig economy, young-generation farmers who own small pieces of arable land now can decide whether to follow in the footsteps of their forebears during the busy plowing season.

Growing one mu (one hectare is equal to 15 mu) of wheat usually helps Li earn no more than 400 yuan (about 56 U.S. dollars) but keeps her busy for nearly half a year.

Now using a hailing app on her smartphone, Li, 35, paid 140 yuan to have a nearby farm machinery operator spray chemicals and weed the 4-mu field.

Her husband Li Changjun works as a labor contractor in neighboring Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Like many of rural people, they want to weave themselves into the fabric of urban life, without letting land lie waste.

Called "farmland nanny" by farmers, this kind of "gig farming" service is usually provided by more skilled farmers from agricultural cooperatives who own farming equipment. The service covers the whole process from seed supply, plowing, sowing, fertilizing, harvesting to product sales.

"This makes me carefree when I work in a faraway place," said villager Shi Xuehui, who found a job in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, having no time to take care of her 2.8-mu wheat field in Huishi.

She had thought about going back but soon dropped the idea since what she would make from the harvest would not cover her travel expenses and lost wages.

Zhang Tianzhu, head of the county bureau of agriculture and rural affairs, said unlike transferring their land to larger planters or cooperatives, which is also popular in China for more efficient use of farmland, it is still the farmers' own decision what crops they will grow on their land under the "gig farming" model.

A total of 13,000 farmers from 21 villages in Yicheng County used the labor hailing service to have their 80,000 mu of land cultivated last year, accounting for 14 percent of the county's total.

Meanwhile, to better safeguard farmers' income, an insurance policy has been introduced, which guarantees the farmers a 400-yuan-per-mu gain against crop failure caused by natural disasters or poor management. Each individual only has to pay eight yuan for an 80-yuan premium per mu of land, with the rest funded by the government.

This year, Yicheng will continue to put more land into "gig farming," easing the worries of migrant farmers, according to the county government.

 

太原,6月22日(新华社)——中国北部山西省翼城县惠石村的李所菊找到了一种新的耕作方式,既能耕种一小块小麦,又不会影响她在附近城镇的一家餐馆的工作。


得益于蓬勃发展的互联网零工经济,拥有少量耕地的年轻一代农民现在可以在农忙季节决定是否追随祖先的脚步。


种植一亩(一公顷相当于15亩)小麦通常能让李赚不到400元(约56美元),但却让她忙了将近半年。


如今,35岁的李在她的智能手机上安装了一个叫人软件,她花了140元让附近的农机操作员给4亩的土地喷洒农药和除草。


她的丈夫李昌军在邻近的内蒙古自治区打工。和许多农村人一样,他们希望在不浪费土地的情况下融入城市生活。


这种被农民称为“农场保姆”的“零工耕作”服务通常由农业合作社中拥有耕作设备的技术更熟练的农民提供。服务范围从种子供应、播种、施肥、收获到产品销售的全过程。


“这让我在遥远的地方工作时无忧无虑,”村民石学慧(音译)说,她在中国西北部的新疆维吾尔自治区找到了一份工作,没有时间照顾她在徽市的2.8亩麦田。


她曾想过回去,但很快就打消了这个念头,因为收获的收入不足以支付她的旅费和失去的工资。


张天柱山,县局负责人农业和农村事务部、说与大种植园主或转让土地合作社,在中国也流行更有效地使用耕地,它仍然是农民自己决定什么作物,他们会在他们的土地“演出农业”模式。


去年,宜城县21个村的1.3万名农民通过招人服务耕种了8万亩土地,占全县耕地总数的14%。


与此同时,为了更好地保障农民的收入,政府出台了一项保障农民每亩400元收益的政策,以防止因自然灾害和管理不善造成的作物歉收。每亩80元的地价,每人只需支付8元,其余的由政府提供。


宜城县政府表示,今年,宜城将继续将更多土地投入“零工农业”,以缓解农民工的担忧。

 

来自: xinhua