Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, August 06, 2003
More Prominence Given to Increasing Farmers' Incomes: Commentary
China's agriculture and rural economy as a whole have witnessed a good start and steady operation. However, the sudden outbreak of the SARS epidemic has exerted great impacts on agriculture and the rural economy, bringing unexpected new difficulties on efforts to increase farmers' incomes.
Since the beginning of this year, regions and departments nationwide have been earnestly implementing the spirit of the 16th Party National Congress and the central conference on rural work, and comprehensively carrying out the plans of the Party Central Committee and the State Council for various fields of work. As a result, China's agriculture and rural economy as a whole have witnessed a good start and steady operation.
However, the sudden outbreak of the SARS epidemic has exerted great impacts on agriculture and the rural economy, bringing unexpected new difficulties on efforts to increase farmers' incomes.
The first quarter of this year reported a 7.5 percent rise in farmers' cash income per head over the previous year, the fastest growth in recent years.
But with the beginning of the second quarter, the growth pace of farmers' income slowed down noticeably. Although the basic situation of the stable development of agriculture and the rural economy remains unchanged, the animal husbandry which is the main source for increasing farmers' incomes, the rural secondary and tertiary industries as well as the rural labor force going out to work in cities have been adversely affected, obviously bringing greater difficulty in realizing this year's objective of increasing farmers' income. In addition, the whole country is now in the high water season and is still faced with threats from floods. Meanwhile, some areas in the south are hit by serious droughts. All these factors are disadvantageous to increase in farmers' incomes.
Regions and departments must keep a sober mind and fully estimate the difficulty in boosting farmers' incomes. They must get a clear understanding of the grim situation and enhance the sense of urgency, they must take increasing farmers' incomes as the central task for agriculture and rural work, put the task in a more prominent position and try every possible means to accomplish this task fruitfully.
China is a big agricultural nation with farmers making up the overwhelming majority of the nation's population. To increase farmers' incomes bears not only on the vital interests of China's hundreds of millions of farmers and on economic development and social stability in the countryside, but also on the overall situation of economic and social development. To overcome the adverse effects of SARS on agriculture and rural economic development as soon as possible and accomplish a stable increase in farmers' incomes this year is of vital significance to expanding domestic market demands, attaining this year's goal for national economic development, pushing forward the coordinated development between urban and rural areas and building a well-off society in an all-round way.
The Party Central Committee and the State Council always attach great importance to increasing farmers' incomes, which have recently made special arrangements for eliminating the SARS effects and expediting increase in farmers' incomes. Regions and departments must, in compliance with the requirements that the Party is built for public interests and exercises state power for the people, conscientiously implement the important thought of "three represents", and carry out all policies and measures established by the Party Central Committee and the State Council. They must center close around the central task of increasing farmers' incomes, comply with the requirements of the overall planning for urban and rural economic and social development, and adhere to the guideline of "increasing investments in agriculture, reducing the burden on farmers and invigorating the rural economy", moreover, they must further advance the strategic structural adjustment of agriculture and the rural economy, earnestly intensify efforts to support agriculture, continue to deepen the rural reform, place equal importance on increasing incomes and reducing burden, treat the problem by looking into both the root cause and symptoms, so as to promote the development of agriculture and the rural economy in an all-round way.
Party and government leaders at all levels must go deep into the realities of the countryside and into the midst of the farmers, relying on them and working creatively. They must seriously analyze the local favorable and unfavorable factors for increasing local farmers' incomes, and take comprehensive measures to create a sound environment. Officials must strengthen coordination between different departments, intensify their work efforts and solve outstanding problems existing in rural areas in a purposeful way. They must also try to increase employment opportunities for farmers, create conditions for farmers to go to work in urban areas and safeguard farmers' legitimate rights and interests. What's more, officials at all levels must do a good job in promoting the sales of farm produce and strive to expand agricultural exports. They must show concern for the production and livelihood of the masses in difficulty and do disaster relief work well. As long as they firmly carry out the arrangements made by the Party Central Committee and the State Council, cherish deep feelings for the farmers, forge ahead despite difficulties and do a solid job, it is possible to achieve the goal of increasing farmers' income this year.