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Introduction

This case study examines the Chinese government's steps to maximize agricultural productivity while improving rural living standards, in light of its recently released No.1 Central Document, which once again names agricultural reform as a top priority.

Features and benefits

* Outlines key obstacles to greater production efficiency in Chinese agriculture
* Outlines key obstacles to raising living standards in the Chinese countryside.
* Sets out the government's approach to tackling these obstacles, and what is required for it to be successful.

Highlights

Despite rapid progress being made here in recent years, 28% of agricultural land in China is still plowed manually.
Around 40% of Chinese agricultural land has been degraded by the overuse of fertilizer in the pursuit of maximum output.
Around 60% of Chinese rural residents have a full or part-time job off-farm, compared to around 45% in 2000.

Your key questions answered

* How have levels of mechanization impacted the efficiency of Chinese agriculture over past decades?
* How can increased agricultural efficiency be reconciled with the need to improve rural wages?

Table Of Contents

Farming in China: Boosting productivity while raising living standards
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
REAFFIRMING AGRICULTURE'S IMPORTANCE
Agricultural reform is a key priority
MAXIMIZING PRODUCTIVITY
China is taking steps to modernize agriculture
Mechanization is a crucial component of modernization
Modern approaches to farming are required to improve soil quality
Organizational inefficiencies limit productivity
Rural-urban migration and a lack of ownership rights are major obstacles
Measures to strengthen ownership rights have been extended
Financial reforms should encourage investment
Increased, better targeted subsidies should boost productivity
New priorities are being fostered in agriculture
BOOSTING RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Rural wages lag behind urban pay
Protectionism plays a role
Diversification could be key to improving living standards
CONCLUSIONS
Progress is being made toward addressing agricultural woes
APPENDIX
Definitions
Sources
Further Reading
Ask the analyst
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