Vigorously promoting agricultural modernization, improving agricultural quality, efficiency, and competitiveness



The second report meeting of the "13th Five Year Plan" series was held in Beijing on April 11th. Han Changfu, Secretary of the Party Group and Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, delivered a report titled "Vigorously Promoting Agricultural Modernization, Improving Agricultural Quality, Efficiency, and Competitiveness".

1. The 13th Five Year Plan Outline for National Economic and Social Development (hereinafter referred to as the Outline) clearly states that significant progress should be made in agricultural modernization. May I ask what kind of environment will agricultural modernization face during the 13th Five Year Plan? What is the overall idea?

Answer: The 13th Five Year Plan is the decisive stage for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Agriculture is the foundation of national modernization and the key and difficult point of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Analyzing the agricultural situation during the 13th Five Year Plan can be summarized in three sentences.

The first sentence is, good foundation. Mainly reflected in four aspects. Firstly, the comprehensive agricultural production capacity has reached a new level. In 2015, China's grain production reached 1242.9 billion catties, achieving a historic "twelve consecutive increases", exceeding 1100 billion catties for five consecutive years and 1200 billion catties for three consecutive years. The second is to achieve a new leap in farmers' income. In 2015, the per capita disposable income of farmers in China reached 11422 yuan, with a growth rate exceeding that of GDP and urban residents' income for six consecutive years. The per capita disposable income ratio of urban and rural residents narrowed to 2.73:1. Thirdly, agricultural material technology and equipment have reached a new level. In 2015, the contribution rate of agricultural scientific and technological progress exceeded 56%, and the main crop varieties were basically fully covered. The comprehensive mechanization level of cultivation and harvest reached 63%, and the effective irrigation area of farmland accounted for over 52%. Fourthly, new breakthroughs have been made in rural reform. Deepening the reform of the rural land system, cultivating new agricultural business entities, and developing various forms of moderate scale operation have continuously enhanced the vitality of rural development. These achievements mark a new historical starting point for the development of modern agriculture during the 13th Five Year Plan period.

The second sentence requires high standards. China's economic development has entered a new normal, and the central government has proposed to guide new development with new concepts and vigorously promote supply side structural reform. This is the main theme of economic and social development during the 13th Five Year Plan period. If agriculture develops steadily, agricultural products are abundant in supply, prices are stable, and the people have no worries about food, it can provide a good environment and strong support for the supply side structural reform of the economy. During the 13th Five Year Plan period, we will vigorously promote agricultural modernization, improve agricultural quality, efficiency, and competitiveness, consolidate the good situation of agricultural development, and provide strong support for the overall economic and social development.

The third sentence is that the task is heavy. At present, China is still in a critical period of transformation from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture, and compared to the rapid development of new industrialization, informatization, and urbanization, agricultural modernization is still a weakness. If the "four modernizations" are compared to a steed, then agricultural modernization is the short legs of this horse. If it is not lengthened and strengthened in time, it will not be able to stand steadily and run quickly. Only by accelerating the pace of agricultural modernization, making up for the shortcomings of agriculture, and achieving the synchronization of the "four modernizations", can we not delay the development of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The Outline proposes a series of new ideas, viewpoints, and judgments on how to promote agricultural modernization, with many highlights. It can be summarized into three aspects. Firstly, in terms of strategic positioning, it is clearly stated that agriculture is the foundation for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieving modernization. In the central document, the first judgment was made on the relationship between agriculture, a moderately prosperous society, and modernization, further highlighting the important role of agriculture in achieving the "Two Centenary Goals". Secondly, on the main line of work, it is clearly proposed to accelerate the transformation of agricultural development methods and vigorously promote the structural reform of the agricultural supply side. This is a major strategic deployment made by the central government to address new challenges in agricultural development. Thirdly, in terms of development goals, it is explicitly stated that significant progress should be made in agricultural modernization, which is an inherent requirement for promoting the synchronization of the "four modernizations". At that time, the comprehensive production capacity, sustainable development capacity, and market competitiveness of agriculture will be significantly improved.

To implement the central decision-making and deployment, our overall consideration during the 13th Five Year Plan period is to better ensure supply, income, and ecology in accordance with the new development concept and the requirements of supply side structural reform. Simply put, it means "providing food for the whole country, money for rural people, and green for urban people". Ensuring supply is to firmly hold the Chinese people's livelihood in one's own hands. Ensuring income is to enable farmers across the country to step into a comprehensive well-off society simultaneously. Protecting ecology is to promote sustainable agricultural development.

2. In 2015, China's grain production reached 1242.9 billion catties, achieving a "twelve consecutive increases". But I also noticed that the Outline proposes to implement the strategy of "storing grain in the ground" and "storing grain in technology". Could you please introduce how to implement this strategy during the 13th Five Year Plan?

Answer: During the 13th Five Year Plan period, we do not pursue continuous increase in grain production, but we need to consolidate and increase grain production capacity. As long as the market needs it, it can be produced and supplied. At present, China's grain production capacity is still unstable and there are still many hidden concerns. Firstly, the number of cultivated land has decreased. The per capita arable land area in China is only 38% of the world average, and the spatiotemporal distribution is unreasonable. There is a mismatch between soil and water resources in the northwest region and water in the southwest region. Secondly, the quality of cultivated land has decreased. High quality farmland occupies a large amount, resulting in shallow cultivation layers, soil acidification, and heavy metal pollution. Thirdly, the technological support capability is still not strong. The outstanding performance is that there is still a significant gap in technological innovation compared to foreign countries, the level of agricultural informatization is relatively low, the research and development and manufacturing capabilities of agricultural machinery and equipment are relatively weak, and the level of agricultural machinery operations such as rapeseed and sugarcane harvesting, cotton picking, etc. is still not high.

During the 13th Five Year Plan, we will vigorously implement the strategies of "storing grain in the ground" and "storing grain in technology" to consolidate the foundation of national food security. The concept of 'storing grain in the land' aims to seize the fundamental importance of farmland protection, accelerate the delineation of permanent basic farmland, build functional zones for grain production and important agricultural product protection zones, increase the construction of high standard farmland for drought and flood protection, implement measures to protect and improve farmland quality, and ensure that the quantity and quality do not decrease. Storing grain in technology "means actively promoting technological innovation, accelerating the development of modern seed industry, vigorously promoting agricultural mechanization and informatization, and allowing agriculture to be equipped with the wings of technology.

3. The Outline proposes to accelerate the adjustment of agricultural structure, and the Central Rural Work Conference at the end of last year and the No. 1 central document this year required to vigorously promote the structural reform of agricultural supply side. May I ask how to proceed?

Answer: In recent years, the consumption demand for agricultural products among urban and rural residents has rapidly changed, with a significant increase in diversified and personalized demand. The problem of agricultural production and sales imbalance in China is becoming increasingly apparent, with a large number of high-quality and branded agricultural products available, and the coexistence of "selling difficulty" and "buying difficulty". During the 13th Five Year Plan period, the key is to adapt to the needs of accelerating the upgrading of agricultural product consumption structure, do a good job in addition and subtraction, increase high-end effective supply, reduce low-end ineffective supply, and promote the transition of agricultural supply from low-end to high-end, so that production can better adapt to the market. At present, the key is to focus on three varieties: corn, pigs, and milk.

One is to reduce corn. Due to consecutive bumper harvests and declining demand, there is currently a large stock of corn that needs to be appropriately reduced. Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture formulated guidance on corn structure adjustment, proposing to reduce more than 50 million mu by 2020 and more than 10 million mu this year. Reduce corn, with a focus on combining planting and breeding, crop and soybean rotation, developing crops such as silage corn and green feed, and transforming the "granary" into a "granary"+"meat depot"+"milk tank".

The second is to stabilize live pigs. Since April 2015, the national pork price has fluctuated and risen after three years of downturn, and has accumulated a significant increase since the beginning of this year. It is expected that pork prices will remain high in the first half of this year, but there will be no surge, and prices will stabilize in the fourth quarter. Next, we will further adjust and optimize the regional layout of live pigs, promote large-scale and standardized breeding, promote green development of pig farming, ensure effective supply, stabilize market prices, and make it affordable for the people while also making money for farmers.

The third is to improve milk. The "milk bottle" is a concern for everyone. In recent years, the development of China's dairy industry has accelerated, and the quality of milk has continuously improved. The problem now is that the market lacks confidence in domestically produced milk powder. In the future, we need to strengthen the construction of milk source bases, select excellent varieties, plant good grass, raise good cows, produce good milk, improve quality, ensure safety, establish brands, and restore the confidence of the Chinese people in the domestic dairy industry.

In addition, we need to accelerate the development of agricultural product processing industry and leisure agriculture, and promote the integrated development of the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries. During the 13th Five Year Plan, we will accelerate the promotion and upgrading of agricultural product processing industry and leisure agriculture, making it fashionable for urban residents to eat farmhouse meals, stay in farmhouses, appreciate flowers and fruits, and experience agricultural culture in rural areas. We will transform production areas into scenic spots, products into gifts, and rural houses into guest rooms.

4. Food is the top priority for the people, and they are highly concerned about food safety. May I ask what is the quality status of agricultural products in China? What measures will be taken under the new situation to ensure the "safety on the tongue" of the people?

Answer: The Party Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the quality and safety of agricultural products. To be honest, the quality and safety level of agricultural products in China is currently stable and improving. At the same time, there are also many risks and hidden dangers. One is that the business entities are small and scattered, and the degree of organization is low. Thousands of households engage in production and thousands of troops engage in circulation, increasing the difficulty of supervision. The second is that consumption methods increase risks. The Chinese diet emphasizes a variety of flavored snacks and fresh food throughout the year. Long distance trafficking of live chickens, pigs, and fish increases potential risks.

Objectively speaking, the current quality and safety issues of agricultural products are also a concentrated reflection of the development stage. Although we cannot achieve zero occurrence, we must adhere to zero tolerance. Even if there are 1% problems, we must make 100% efforts and do everything possible to ensure the "safety on the tongue" of the people.

During the 13th Five Year Plan period, we will adhere to the two pronged approach of "production" and "management", focusing on promoting standardized production and achieving controllable production sources; The main purpose of 'management out' is to strictly manage and supervise the entire process in accordance with the law, establish a regulatory information platform, establish a traceability system, and achieve full traceability from the field to the dining table.

5. In recent years, agriculture has maintained a good development momentum, but there have also been some ecological and environmental problems. The Outline proposes to promote sustainable agricultural development. What specific measures are there in the 13th Five Year Plan?

Answer: According to the concept of "green" development, during the 13th Five Year Plan period, agriculture should accelerate the filling of the ecological environment gap, adhere to the equal emphasis on "reasonable utilization" and "protection and governance", accelerate the transformation of agricultural development methods, reduce the intensity of agricultural resource utilization that is too tight, and slow down the trend of increasing agricultural pollution. We must fight three tough battles well.

One is to fight the battle against agricultural non-point source pollution, which is to control the total amount of agricultural water use, resolutely reduce the total amount of fertilizer and pesticide application, and utilize agricultural waste such as livestock and poultry manure, crop straw, and agricultural film. Many comrades believe that agriculture is the "biggest source of environmental pollution". This statement is not accurate enough. On the one hand, the "emission amount" of agricultural non-point source pollution does not equal the actual "pollution amount". On the other hand, many agricultural non-point source pollution is reversible, and agriculture itself is the largest green factory. So, for the issue of agricultural non-point source pollution, we must make great determination to solve it, but we cannot be detached from the reality and overly exaggerate it.

The second is to strengthen the governance of prominent agricultural environmental issues. The focus is to address issues such as heavy metal pollution in the southern region, degradation of black soil in Northeast China, and overexploitation of groundwater in North China, and to promote agricultural ecological restoration.

The third is to implement rotation fallow and returning farmland to forests and grasslands. Starting from this year, we will explore the implementation of a pilot system of farmland rotation and fallow cultivation. However, this is not simply abandonment or abandonment, but rather to protect the fertile land and achieve sustainable utilization. Currently, I

6. The Outline proposes to develop various forms of agricultural moderate scale management and play its leading role in modern agricultural construction. May I ask what specific arrangements and considerations are there?

Answer: In the past, we solved the problem of food supply by relying on small-scale decentralized contracting and management from one household to another, which was very rare. However, issues such as high production costs, low comparative benefits, and difficulty in introducing modern production factors are becoming increasingly prominent. During the 13th Five Year Plan period, efforts should be made to expand the scale, cultivate the main body, and provide services.

Expanding scale means promoting the moderate scale operation of various forms of agriculture. Premier Li Keqiang emphasized the need to develop various forms of moderate scale operations. There are various forms of scale management, including land transfer, land trusteeship, and land acquisition. Land transfer should truly respect the wishes of farmers and adhere to the principle of voluntary compensation in accordance with the law. The government mainly focuses on providing guidance services, and currently needs to accelerate the promotion of land contract management rights confirmation, registration, and certification.

Cultivating the main body is to accelerate the cultivation of new agricultural management entities such as large farmers, family farms, farmer cooperatives, and agricultural enterprises. Special attention should be paid to cultivating new agricultural management entities, and farmers must not be excluded or ignored. During the 13th Five Year Plan period, it is necessary to cultivate a large number of new professional farmers who understand technology, know how to operate, and are good at management.

Providing services means improving and improving the agricultural socialized service system. The more modern agriculture is, the more socialized services need to be developed. During the 13th Five Year Plan period, it is necessary to accelerate the construction of a new type of agricultural socialized service system that combines public welfare services and business services, such as wheat cross regional machine harvesting, agricultural machinery cooperative farming of land, "cattle care centers", and pest control and control, which are all good socialized service models.

7. The blueprint for agricultural modernization during the 13th Five Year Plan has been drawn. How can we achieve these goals and tasks?

Answer: Promoting agricultural modernization is a long-term historical process, and significant progress should be made during the 13th Five Year Plan period. Developed areas along the eastern coast, suburbs of large cities, large-scale reclamation areas, and national modern agricultural demonstration areas should take the lead in achieving agricultural modernization. This requires a systematic consideration of the overall economic and social development, coordinated promotion, and comprehensive implementation of policies, with a focus on handling the three relationships.

Firstly, it is necessary to handle the relationship between the government and the market, and play a good role in supporting and protecting agriculture. To promote agricultural modernization, we need to leverage the decisive role of the market in resource allocation and better leverage the government's support and protection role. During the 13th Five Year Plan period, breakthroughs should be made in areas such as fiscal subsidies, financial insurance, and price support. The fiscal subsidy policy should optimize the stock, gradually expand the increment, improve the agricultural subsidy policy, and better protect and mobilize the enthusiasm of farmers to engage in agriculture and grain production, as well as local farmers to focus on grain production. The focus of financial and insurance policies is to solve the problems of difficult, expensive, and high-risk loans for new business entities. To improve price support policies, we need to adhere to the direction of market-oriented reform, implement policies based on different varieties, and gradually promote them. Continue to pilot target prices for soybeans and cotton; For corn, the temporary collection and storage policy will be abolished, and the reform of "market-oriented procurement+subsidies" will be implemented, with "price subsidy separation and subsidies for farmers". However, for staple crops such as rice and wheat, it is necessary to continue to implement and improve the minimum purchase price policy

Thirdly, we need to handle the urban-rural relationship well and leverage the radiative and driving role of cities in rural areas. At present, the imbalance between urban and rural development is still a prominent contradiction in China's economic and social development, and the imbalance between urban and rural development is still the biggest imbalance, with cities like developed countries and rural areas like developing countries. We need to better leverage the radiation and driving role of cities in markets, resources, factors, talents, and other aspects of agriculture, accelerate the modernization of agriculture, and strengthen the construction of new rural areas. It is necessary to establish equal urban-rural relations, promote equalization of basic public services, promote the citizenization of migrant workers, promote precision in poverty alleviation, and achieve integrated urban-rural development.

We believe that through efforts, the 13th Five Year Plan will definitely take new steps in promoting the synchronization of the "four modernizations" and urban-rural linkage, and make significant progress in agricultural modernization. Rural areas will also enter a moderately prosperous society, and China's modernization cause will show a new face, form a new situation, and present a new atmosphere. (China Pesticide Information Network)