BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China has mapped out its latest plan for rural development at a key conference, highlighting work to advance rural revitalization across the board and accelerate the construction of a strong agriculture sector.
Experts say the annual central rural work conference, which was held from Friday to Saturday in Beijing, set the tone for the country's work on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, and pointed to the significance of agriculture on the country's policy agenda.
ENSURING STABLE GRAIN SUPPLY
To provide a solid foundation for China's transition into a great modern socialist country in all respects, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tang Renjian said that accelerating the construction of a strong agriculture sector should take precedence.
It was stressed at the conference that ensuring the stable and secure supply of grain and important agricultural products has always been the top priority of work to build China's strength in agriculture.
Data shows that China's annual grain output has remained at a high level -- over 650 billion kilograms -- for eight consecutive years.
Ye Xingqing, a senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, noted that there is increased pressure to continue ramping up that output. Ye stressed the need to pay close attention to farmlands and seeds to boost output, the importance of efforts to rev up the development of new types of agribusiness and commercial agricultural services, and the importance of lowering costs through scaled production.
Experts say the conference sent a signal that efforts for the next steps in the sector will be directed to ensure the stable production and supply of grain and vegetables to improve self-sufficiency, with a special focus on soybean production.
ADVANCING RURAL REVITALIZATION
It was noted at the conference that advancing rural revitalization across the board is an important task in the construction of a strong agriculture sector in the new era.
The key in this regard is the promotion of rural industry development, according to Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Efforts should be made to thoroughly implement support policies for rural industries, develop industries with local features, and nurture new industries and business models in accordance with demand upgrades, Li said.
Li also emphasized the importance of increasing farming incomes, which the conference highlighted as the central task of work concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
Broadening farmers' income sources and continuously guaranteeing farming incomes from the growth of crops are important tasks, Li said.
RELYING ON TECHNOLOGY, REFORM
The conference stressed the need to rely on science and technology, as well as reform, to accelerate the construction of a strong agriculture sector.
The country should focus on the frontiers of global agricultural science and technology work, vigorously promote its agricultural science and technology level, and accelerate its realization of self-reliance in agricultural science and technology, according to the conference.
Qian Qian, head of the Institute of Crop Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that promoting technological innovation in agricultural science and technology is a long-term task and a systemic project.
Efforts should be made to cultivate new seed varieties that have high yields and are green and cost-effective, Qian said. Efforts should also be made to make seed breeding more precise and effective, and to make seeds easy to produce on a large scale.