Meet Focuses on Rural Co-operatives

Rural economic development took most of the spotlight at the second general meeting of the ongoing Fourth Session of the Ninth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The development of farmer co-operative organizations should be expedited to improve the rural economy and increase farmers' income, CPPCC members said at the meeting yesterday in Beijing.

"Small and individual-oriented agricultural production is out of line with current market conditions," said CPPCC member Chen Zongxing, representing the Central Committee of the China Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party.

The changeable market requires that farmers be able to make large investments and take high market risks. Small and individual production obviously cannot satisfy current requirement, said Chen, who is vice-governor of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

He said that after China joins the World Trade Organization, farmers will plunge into a more competitive market. "They need to be organized to cope with market competition and increase their income."

Increasing the income of farmers is always the focus of attention of the CPPCC members.

"To increase farmers' income, the policy-makers must improve the efficiency of the agricultural industry by restructuring it," suggested CPPCC member Lu Ming on behalf of the Central Committee of the China Democratic National Construction Association.

The State should also draft an agricultural law to protect the healthy development of the sector, Lu said.

"In restructuring agriculture, high-tech methods should be introduced so that traditional agriculture methods can be modernized," said Lu, who is vice-minister of agriculture.

Only by improving the efficiency of agriculture as a whole can the income of farmers be increased significantly, he said.

(China Daily 03/08/2001)