SCIO press conference on priorities for all-round rural revitalization in 2023

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In recent years, the incomes of farmers have grown rapidly, and the income gap between urban and rural areas has gradually narrowed. What are the current channels for farmers to increase their incomes? And what measures are there to help farmers boost their incomes? Thank you.

Tang Renjian:

The phrase "increasing incomes and getting richer" has been used for many years, and was also mentioned in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress and in the No. 1 central document for 2023. I think it has a new meaning in the new stage. Currently, the phrase obviously means to gain common prosperity for everyone. So, from this perspective, it is an old term, but with new connotations and requirements. I'd like to invite Mr. Wu Hongyao to address this question in detail. 

Wu Hongyao:

This is a very important issue. The work on China's agriculture, rural areas and farmers has two main tasks: One is ensuring supplies, and the other is increasing incomes. Therefore, increasing incomes for farmers has indeed been a key task for the work on agriculture, rural areas and farmers. I'll explain more. 

General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed on many occasions that we must continue to make increasing rural incomes the central task of our work on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, and do everything possible to expand channels for farmers to increase incomes and get richer. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, farmers' incomes have continued to grow rapidly. In 2019, the target of doubling the income of 2010 was achieved one year ahead of schedule. In 2022, the per capita disposable income of rural residents exceeded 20,000 yuan for the first time, reaching 20,133 yuan. The income ratio between urban and rural residents declined from 2.88 in 2012 to 2.45 in 2022. The income gap between urban and rural residents has gradually narrowed. However, we have also noticed that the growth rate of farmers' incomes has slowed, and the driving force of income growth has weakened. We must pay close attention and take practical measures that combine both short- and long-term solutions to expand channels for farmers to increase their incomes. On this regard, the No. 1 central document this year has made arrangements, which focus on four aspects:

First, we need to stabilize employment. In 2022, incomes from wages and salaries accounted for 41.96% of farmers' incomes, which made the major contribution to the increase in farmers' incomes. We will strengthen the implementation of various policies to stabilize employment, improve employment skills, increase job positions, create employment opportunities and stabilize the employment of rural migrant workers. Our research shows that, currently, more than three-quarters of rural migrant workers are employed within their provinces; and more than half are employed in their counties. We should follow this trend and develop county-level industries which have competitive advantages, strong motivational ability and large employment capacity, so as to encourage rural residents to find jobs and start businesses locally. 

Second, we will focus on increasing the effectiveness of the operation. The net income from household operations accounted for 34.63% of farmers' income. Among them, over 60% comes from agricultural operating income. We will cultivate new types of agribusinesses and improve commercial services catering to small agricultural households, to improve farmers' income. We will carry out a promotional campaign to offer services for agriculture businesses to help plant and harvest crops and even manage everything involved in the agricultural production process. Then, we can encourage small household farmers to save costs, improve quality and promote marketing.

Third, we will tap the potential of property income. Net property income accounted for 2.53% of farmers' income. There is still much potential and space to be tapped. We will deepen the reform of the rural land system to ensure the affirmation of rights to contract rural lands, promote endowment steadily, and protect the flexible management rights in an orderly way so that farmers can increase property income and enjoy the dividends of the reform.

Fourth, we will pay more attention to transferring income. Farmers' net transfer income accounted for 20.88% of their income. It is an important component of farmers' income, especially those lifted out of poverty and those with low incomes in rural areas. We will continue to beef up policy support to strengthen agriculture, benefit farmers, and raise rural living standards. We will ensure that the social security level is improved in rural areas and that farmers get more subsidies. By doing so, we aim to provide a safety net concerning social security and ensure people prosper in rural areas. Thank you.

Tang Renjian:

We just mentioned that increasing farmers' incomes is the central task of the work concerning agriculture, rural areas, and farmers. Moreover, we should note that food security is a top priority. We need to handle holistically the relationship between these two tasks, which are both vital to our development.

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