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New Policies Launched to Increase Farmers' Income
The Ministry of Agriculture announced Wednesday that the Chinese government will offer more supports to agricultural enterprises, as one of China's new efforts to help farmers earn more.

The ministry issued several new policies on stimulating the market for agricultural products and reducing the risks farmers have faced, in a bid to stop the depressed growth of farmers' income.

The farmers' annual income in 1996 was 9 percent higher than that of 1995, but the growth rate dropped to 4.3 percent in 1998 and 2 percent last year.

Experts here attributed the slump to the downturn of domestic demand, the immature rural market and low industrialized level of agricultural production.

A ministry official noted that large companies in this industry are encouraged to build closer cooperation with individual farmers, including selling their stock to farmers in exchange for the usage right to farmland, products, funds or technologies.

The bottom line price for agricultural products is suggested to be set when big companies buy raw materials from farmers, he added.

Nationwide or regional large wholesale markets for agricultural products will receive financial support from the government, but the fund will mainly go to infrastructure construction and service facilities.

(Xinhua 04/19/2001)

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