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Full Text: Report on the Work of the Government
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2. Strengthening agriculture as the foundation of the economy, promoting development of agriculture and increasing farmer incomes.

We will do everything possible to ensure a good harvest this year and work to increase farmer incomes and build a new socialist countryside. We will concentrate on the following three areas:

First, we will vigorously develop grain production and ensure the supply of agricultural products. Grain security has an overall bearing on economic and social development and affects the vital interests of the people, so we must always pay close attention to grain production. We must effectively keep the area sown to grain crops stable and increase the yield per unit area. We will increase support for major grain-producing areas and grain farmers, carry out the grain strategy project and speed up efforts to establish core grain-producing areas to enhance the overall grain production capacity and become more able to ensure adequate supplies. While working to increase agricultural output, we also need to improve the structure of grain varieties grown and promote a constant increase in the production of important agricultural products. We will conscientiously implement policies and measures to boost pig production, dairy farming and oilseed production. We will energetically develop animal husbandry and aquaculture and support and promote their large-scale development as well as healthy farming practices. We will promote standardization of agricultural production to improve the quality and safety of agricultural products.

Second, we will intensify development of the agricultural infrastructure. We will speed up efforts to reinforce large and medium-sized reservoirs and dilapidated key small reservoirs. We will improve irrigated areas, build small water conservancy facilities and work hard to develop water-efficient irrigation. We will increase efforts to develop, improve and reclaim land, upgrade low- and medium-yield farmland, improve the productivity of farmland and develop farm plots that meet high standards. We will step up rural infrastructure development in drinking water supplies, roads, power grids, telecommunications and cultural facilities, vigorously develop rural public transportation systems and improve the rural living environment. We will provide safe drinking water for another 32 million rural residents and support the building of a number of large and medium-sized methane facilities to serve an additional five million rural families.

Third, we will develop more channels to increase rural incomes. We will accelerate the development of high-yield, high-quality, high-efficiency, eco-friendly and safe agriculture and support the development of industrialized agricultural operations and pacesetting enterprises. We will increase efforts to build a modern marketing and retail distribution network for rural areas, strengthen and upgrade rural secondary and tertiary industries, develop township and village enterprises and strengthen county economies. We will step up vocational education and technical training in rural areas to make it easier for rural residents to find nonagricultural employment, and develop the labor economy. We will intensify poverty alleviation efforts through development and continue to reduce the number of poor people.

The major measures we are going to take are as follows:

First, we will greatly increase funding. This year's increases in budgetary support for agriculture, rural areas and farmers, state fixed asset investment in the countryside and the proportion of government land transfer income used for rural development will all be considerably higher than last year's increases. We will adjust the way tax revenues from the use of farmland for nonagricultural purposes are used and reform methods for using urban construction and maintenance tax receipts to increase funding for rural development. Allocations from this year's central government budget related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers total 562.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 130.7 billion yuan.

Second, we will strengthen agricultural support policies. We will increase direct subsidies for grain producers and general direct subsidies for purchasing agricultural supplies. We will expand both the size and scope of subsidies for using superior seed varieties. We will subsidize the purchase of more kinds of agricultural machinery and tools and raise such subsidies. Starting this year, eligibility for these subsidies will be expanded to all agricultural counties. We will raise the minimum grain purchase prices based on actual conditions.

Third, we will adhere to the strictest possible system for protecting farmland, and in particular we will increase protection of basic farmland. We will carefully examine and adjust the amounts and standards for land use in all types of plans in accordance with the master plan for land use, strictly follow the system for controlling land use, rigorously manage rural land used for collective and private construction projects in accordance with the law, and resolutely put a stop to illegal appropriation of arable land and forested areas.

Fourth, we will improve the system for spreading agricultural science and technology and providing agricultural technical services. We will work harder to make innovations in agricultural science and technology and apply advances in agricultural science and technology, and improve the diverse array of mainly nonprofit agricultural technical services. We will accelerate agricultural mechanization. We will improve the systems for superior seed varieties, information, and the quality and safety of agricultural products, and for preventing and mitigating disasters, and do a good job preventing and controlling animal epidemics, plant diseases and insect pests. We will expand trial soil testing to determine appropriate fertilizer formulas.

Fifth, we will carry out rural reform in all areas. We will accelerate overall rural reform. We will adopt effective measures to actively yet prudently reduce the debts of townships and villages. The central and local governments will increase budgetary funding to basically clear up overdue debts for rural compulsory education in about three years. We will adhere to the basic system for rural operations and stabilize and improve land contract relationships. We will improve the market for the compensated, voluntary transfer of land contract and management rights in accordance with the law and allow diverse forms of farming operations to develop to an appropriate scale where conditions permit. We will work hard to develop specialized farmer cooperatives. We will carry out comprehensive reform of the system of collective forest rights.

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