SCIO briefing on agriculture and rural development

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Speakers:
Mr. Han Changfu, minister of agriculture
Mr. Han Jun, director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group
Mr. Ye Zhenqin, vice minister of agriculture
Mr. Wu Hongyao, deputy director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group

Chairperson:
Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the State Council Information Office

Date:
Sept. 29, 2017

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has always attached great importance to the issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers, and much headway has been made in this regard.

Today, we are delighted to invite Mr. Han Changfu, the minister of agriculture, and Mr. Han Jun, the director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, to this press conference. They will introduce the progress on agriculture and rural development since the 18th CPC National Congress, and answer some of your questions.

Also present at this press conference are: Mr. Ye Zhenqin, the vice minister of agriculture, and Mr. Wu Hongyao, the deputy director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group.

Now, let's welcome Mr. Han Changfu to make his briefing.

Han Changfu:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the press, good morning. Thank you for your concern and support for the work concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers over the years. Autumn is a season of harvest, and it's a pleasure to exchange ideas with you on agriculture at this time.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party and the state have made great achievements under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and under the guidance of Xi's major addresses and his new vision, thinking, and strategies for the governance of China, and the same is true for the development of agriculture and rural areas.

The agricultural departments at all levels have studied Xi's speeches on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, focusing on agricultural supply-side structural reform and also on guaranteed supply, income and ecology to promote the modernization of agriculture. We have witnessed bumper harvests over the past five years, famers have gained increasing incomes and rural areas have maintained harmony and stability. All these factors have contributed to the stable economic and social development as a "ballast stone."

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, agriculture and the rural economy have made achievements in six areas, including progresses in grain production capacity, agricultural supply-side structural reform, agricultural modernization, rural reform, green agricultural development and the income of farmers.

Han Changfu:

First, the capacity for grain production has reached a new level, with annual output above 600 million tons for four consecutive years. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that we must ensure a sufficient food supply for 1.3 billion people. Based on that, we have always prioritized food safety and maintaining an adequate supply of important farm products, mobilizing local governments to focus on agricultural development and promoting farmers' enthusiasm for their industry.

Since 2013, China's food production has reached 600 million tons for four consecutive years. This year's food production is expected to remain at this level. Although accounting for only 10 percent of arable land worldwide, China produces food for 20 percent of the global population, which is a major contribution to the world's food security.

China has enjoyed good harvests for each of the last five years. In addition to bumper crops, the supply of other important farm products has also been adequate. The production of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits and fish ranked first in the world. Urban and rural residents have both benefited from the rapid development of agriculture.

Second, supply-side structural reform in the rural sector has entered a new phase with marked results. President Xi Jinping has stressed promoting supply-side structural reform in the agricultural sector is the main thrust of the country's agricultural policy reform and development in the current stage as well as the future period.

We adhere to an orientation meeting market needs, deepen reform so as to create powerful impetus and further develop structural adjustment in agriculture. Now, the production structure has become smoother and unhindered. According to market needs, we have reduced the corn planting area by nearly 50 million mu (about 3.33 million hectares), and increased the soybean area by more than 16 million mu (about 1.67 million hectares) in the past two years. As much as 56 percent of livestock farming is now large-scale. Notable progress has also been made in the fisheries industry by reducing quantity and improving quality.

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