Enterprises Urged to Cooperate With Farmers

The Chinese government encourages cooperation between farmers and agro-enterprises in an effort to improve the efficiency of the agriculture sector in the next five years.

Wan Baorui, vice minister of agriculture Tuesday told a meeting that China's individual farmers, with a small production scale, face great challenges from the open market and lack channels to integrate together, consequently, slowing down the country's agricultural development.

Cooperation between enterprises and farmers will integrate agricultural production with the processing and marketing sector, and greatly improve the competitiveness of both parts, changing the traditional way of agricultural production, he said.

Farmers are allowed to hold shares of enterprises, as a way of cooperation, and the country encourages the development of agencies as a bridge between the two parts and to protect the farmers' rights and interests.

Some 151 enterprises were selected as models to cooperate with farmers, including a number of township enterprises, and the government will give them preferential policies for getting loans, financing, taxation, import and export, according to Wan.

Enterprises that now cooperate with individual farmers, have a total production value of 490 billion yuan (US$59 billion) and employ 5.72 million rural laborers.

(Xinhua 11/07/2000)

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