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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 09:32, November 25, 2004
Farmers' industry association mounts to be major force in rural China
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The traditional self-help production model among Chinese farmers is being replaced by a new cooperative style -- the farmers' industry associations.

Latest sources from Chinese Ministry of Agriculture said currently, China's various farmers' industry associations number more than 100,000 -- covering agriculture, forestry, farming, byproduct and fishing.

The farmers' industry associations are mostly organized by the farmers themselves, offering professional services to rural people that range from planting to marketing. They are helping to strengthen cooperation between families, which, many Chinese economists believe, will "change the rural economy."

In east China's Zhejiang province, more than 2,300 professional farmers' industry association have been established, attracting about 1.35 million local farmers.

The province has just passed China's first regulation on farmers' association recently this month, granting legal positions to this new production style.

Officials from Zhejiang Provincial Agricultural Department said the development of professional industry associations among local farmers has brought profound changes for the province's agricultural production.

The official said recently, at least one-third of the participants registered to attend this month's Zhejiang Agriculture Expo. are local farmers' industry associations. This fact has aroused nationwide attention.

During the Expo, the associations will show their high-quality produce under the new production model, said the official.

Chinese agricultural experts said as a new agricultural production style popular worldwide, the farmers' industry association should become the major force of China's agriculture industry in the future.

The contradiction between China's traditional ineffective self-production model and the current high-demanding market economy has brought influences to China's agriculture. Farmers hope that establishing industry associations will be a way out for the problem, said the experts.

In addition, experts said the farmers' industry association may also become a new channel for the government to launch support to the agriculture and farmers.

Currently, most farmers' industry associations in China still face problems of small scale, weak power and incomplete regulation.

Among the 100,000 established farmers' industry associations nationwide, only 10,000 have registered with local departments of civil affairs and obtained legal status.

To help boost development of the new production model, the Ministry of Civil Affairs will take steps in the future to help these industry associations improve their management regulations and register with the local civil affairs sector to acquire legal status.

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