1. Development Objectives and Tasks It is the first year in 2018 of implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and implementing the strategy of rural revitalization. The year of 2018 is also the key period as it marked the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up initiated by rural reform, and it is the key to success in building a well-off society in an all-round way and implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan. The Central Rural Work Conference held at the end of 2017 put forward the opinions on implementing the rural revitalization strategy, clarified the significance, guiding ideology, objectives, tasks and basic principles of implementing the rural revitalization strategy, and made specific arrangements for implementing the strategy.
According to the central government’s deployment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs proposed that in 2018 and in the future, the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China should be fully implemented, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and the ministry adhered to the general tone of the work of seeking stability and growth. It also applied the new development ideology, accorded with the requirements of high-quality development, focused on the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy, promoted the structural reform of the agricultural supply side as the main line, optimized agricultural production capacity and increase farmers’ income, and regarded protecting the grain production capacity as the bottom line. The ministry also adhered to high quality of agriculture, green agriculture, and high efficiency, accelerated the transformation of agricultural production methods, promoted reform and innovation, scientific and technological innovation as well as work innovation, and vigorously built a modern agricultural industrial system, production system, management system, and vigorously advanced reform on quality, efficiency and driving forces in order to accelerate the pace of modernization of agriculture and rural areas and continue to advance towards the goal of building a well-off society in an all-round way.
2. Conditions for Agricultural Development In 2017, the agricultural and rural economic development adhered to the general tone of steady progress and consolidated the good situation of the agricultural and rural economy. The grain production capacity has reached a new level, and the structural reform of the agricultural supply side has taken new steps. The income of farmers has continued to grow, and the rural people’s livelihood has been comprehensively improved. Decisive progress was made in the struggle for poverty alleviation, with the construction of rural ecological civilization strengthened, the farmers’ happiness improved, and rural society remaining stable and harmonious.
The agricultural and rural development made huge achievements and the work of agriculture, rural areas and farmers accumulated rich experience, which laid sound foundation for the implementation of rural revitalization strategy. However, rural development is also facing some new challenges. First, it is particularly urgent to maintain sustainable development of agriculture and to find and cultivate new growth points. Second, it is necessary to explore how agriculture can increase efficiency, how farmers will increase incomes, and the third is new challenges to accelerate the construction of new countryside against the backdrop of urbanization.
3. Projection of Agricultural Development Trend According to the survey of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, the intended acreages of rice went down in 2018 compared with the previous year, soybeans increased, and corn continued to decrease, oilseed crops declined slightly, vegetables remained stable and the animal husbandry and fishery develop steadily. With the continuous deepening of the reform on the storage system for important agricultural products, the characteristics that agricultural product prices were determined by market supply and demand are more obvious. In 2018, the prices of domestic agricultural products are generally low, without much fluctuations. The prices of various agricultural products had ups and downs. The comparative advantages and relative dominance of agricultural products have all dropped significantly, leading to an increase in the dependence on foreign countries of China’s agricultural industry and agricultural products. The pace of farmers’ income growth was higher than that of urban residents, but the absolute difference will remain large.
Note: The above information is sourced from the 2018 China Agricultural and Rural Development Report. To learn more please contact: +86 10 59194918.