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Gov't to Spend 100 Mln Yuan on Farmer Training
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China has allocated 100 million yuan this year to train farmers in agricultural technology and knowledge, said the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing Saturday.

The program has chosen 10,000 villages nationwide and given them 10,000 yuan each as subsidy for training, said Wei Chao'an, vice minister of agriculture.

Chinese farmers received merely 7.3 years of education on the average and 92 percent of the country's illiterate and semiliterate people are in rural areas, said Wei.

Nearly half of China's 490 million rural laborers merely received preliminary education and 7.6 percent of them are illiterate or semiliterate, said Wei.

Most of them have never received any professional training and can hardly meet the requirement in construction of new countryside, the official said.

China has focused on developing its industries and cities in the past 20-plus years. Sluggish rural development provides a stark contrast to booming urban economy.

China set the goal of building new countryside last year, hoping to achieve balanced development in the country.

A report with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said that up to 300 million Chinese farmers will move into cities over the next 20 years. They all need to find jobs in cities.

Last week, China's Ministry of Science and Technology published the first volume of books in a series to teach farmers practical agricultural technology.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2006)


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