Senior officials with the Ministry of Land and Resources yesterday highly praised a China-Germany cooperative project on land redeployment and village renovation for its successful innovations, which are expected to be spread throughout the country.
Assisted by the German Hanns Seidel Foundation, with an investment of nearly 4.5 million yuan (US$543,500), the project was started in Nanzhanglou Village of Qingzhou, in East China's Shandong Province, in 1989.
"Aimed at creating a better environment and better working and living conditions for villagers, the project has successfully pursued large scale redeployment of land in the Chinese countryside since 1999," said Vice-Minister of Land and Resources Lu Xinshe yesterday.
"It has proven that land redeployment can effectively accelerate economic development in rural areas and increase farmers' income," Lu said.
Lu has vowed to continue to draw on advanced experience from abroad, especially from Germany, as China further strengthens land redeployment.
Lu made the remarks yesterday at a seminar in Beijing, which was one of the various activities being held to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany.
Starting in 1989, the cultivable land in Nanzhanglou Village has been redeployed in a systematic way and leveled to facilitate mechanization, according to Yuan Xiangsheng, general manager of the project.
Yuan noted that the work has drawn on the agricultural development experience of the Bavarian region of Germany, with the help of the foundation.
Out-of-season vegetable planting, livestock rearing and agricultural by-product processing have also been introduced to the village during the project, increasing farmers' average annual income from 1,950 yuan (US$236) in 1989 to 4,600 yuan (US$556) last year.
The roads dividing the fields were paved at a cost of 4.3 million yuan (US$519,000) and previously uncultivated fields were brought into production with an investment of 3.5 million yuan (US$423,000), according to Yuan.
The land redeployment has made possible other developments. For example, over 50 private enterprises have been set up.
"We have enjoyed better living conditions, education, cultural activities and medical services since the project was implemented," said villager Zhang Detian.
The total investment in the project has reached 40 million yuan (US$4.8 million), according to Yuan.
"We hope the experience gained through the project can be shared with the vast western regions of the country to help China's strategy of western development," said Rainer B. Gepperth, head of the foundation's international cooperation institute.
Gepperth also noted that he hoped the co-operation with China will continue and that the fields of cooperation can be broadened.
(China Daily October 9, 2002)