Si calls for faster steps in revitalizing the village | Daily News Byte

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The nation must ensure a stable food supply, improve ecological agriculture, he says

President Xi Jinping called for accelerated steps to build China’s agricultural sector and vigorously promote rural revitalization.

Xi, who is also the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a speech at the annual rural labor conference held in Beijing on Friday and Saturday.

Analysts said Xi used the two-day meeting to set a direction for strengthening China’s agricultural sector and set priorities in the next phase for work related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers.

Agricultural development is essential to meeting people’s demands for a better life, achieving high-quality growth and harnessing the foundation of national security, Xi told the conference.

It is important for China to follow its own path, refrain from blindly borrowing other nations’ models, and rely on its own strength to ensure food security, he said.

Xi stressed that the nation must build its environmentally friendly and low-carbon agriculture, continue its agricultural civilization, and take firm steps to promote shared prosperity.

He called for solving the practical issues that are the most urgent for the development of agriculture and the countryside and that worry farmers the most, saying that projects that are out of touch with reality should be avoided.

The President reiterated that ensuring a stable and safe supply of food and key agricultural products will always remain a top priority for the country’s agricultural sector.

Despite the impacts of extreme weather conditions and COVID-19, China secured another bumper grain harvest this year, with total grain output of 686.53 billion kilograms this year, up 0.5 percent from 2021, according to the National Bureau for statistics. This is the eighth consecutive year that China has recorded a grain harvest of over 650 billion kg.

Tang Lixia, a professor at the China Agricultural University’s National Institute of Rural Revitalization Studies, said Xi reiterated the fundamental role of the agricultural sector and the importance of food security for the nation two months after the 20th CPC National Congress.

“China has been able to ensure its food security despite disruptions in international supply chains and fluctuations in global food prices.” This was largely due to the emergency measures the nation adopted to increase grain production,” she said.

In his address, Xi highlighted the imperative to implement another round of actions to boost grain production capacity, saying that farmland and seeds are two key factors the nation must focus on to raise production.

He called for efforts to keep the country’s arable land above the red line of 120 million hectares and effectively revitalize the seed industry, including steps to ensure reliance on key varieties.

It is important to make parallel efforts to raise food production and reduce food losses, continue to advance efforts to reduce food waste, and establish a diversified food supply system, Xi said.

The President said that it is necessary to transfer manpower, material resources and fiscal support to the revitalization of villages, stressing that the revitalization of rural industry is the main priority.

He also spoke about the importance of consolidating and expanding achievements in poverty reduction, a campaign that has led to a nation of nearly 100 million rural residents being lifted out of absolute poverty.

Xi called for steps to ensure a smooth transition of aid policies aimed at groups and regions that have been freed from poverty and to prevent the return of poverty at the village or municipal level.

He stressed that China must rely on science, technology and reform to build its agricultural sector, saying the nation must focus closely on the forefront of global agricultural technology and accelerate steps to achieve a high level of self-reliance on this front.

The president also outlined steps to build a more livable, harmonious and beautiful countryside, including steps to strengthen public services and infrastructure to respond to the pandemic, care for the elderly, education and healthcare. The goal is to develop a healthy public infrastructure, provide more favorable public services, and improve the level of comfort in the living environment, he said.

Xi also stressed the importance of maintaining the Party’s leadership, improving the quality of farmers around the world, and encouraging more graduates, migrant workers and entrepreneurs to explore opportunities in rural areas.

Huang Yikun, head of Peking University’s New Rural Development Research Institute, said Xi has laid out a vision for the transformation of the nation’s agriculture and rural areas, with a strong emphasis on science and technology and institutional innovation.

“This vision will help the nation transform its agricultural sector towards a modern, efficient and green agricultural sector,” he said.

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