More money for science, technology in farms plan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 December, 2011, 12:00am


Investment will be boosted in agricultural science and technology, including seed breeding and farm machinery, in the coming year to increase production amid rapid urbanisation, state media reported.

The government's focus for agricultural work next year would be on improving scientific and technological inputs to ensure supply and stable prices, Xinhua quoted Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu as saying.

The government would 'largely increase investment in agricultural science and technology, and encourage investment from financial institutions and private capital', Hui told yesterday's Central Rural Work Conference, an annual meeting of the central leadership that maps out rural development plans for the following year.

Hui's remarks were consistent with previous media reports about the theme of next year's No 1 document, the first policy document issued jointly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council every year.

The document, commonly interpreted as reflecting the issues uppermost in the central leadership's considerations, has focused on rural problems for the past eight years.

At a conference also held yesterday, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said the ministry would be launching a nationwide agricultural science and technology campaign next year, focusing on development of the seed industry.

By 2015, agricultural machinery should be used in the production of more than 60 per cent of China's major crops, while more than 55 per cent of growth in the value of output should come from improved science and technology, Han said.

The two goals were also included in the 12th five-year plan for the development of agricultural science and technology, issued by the ministry on Monday.

The breeding of new varieties of animals and plants, as well as the development of farming machinery, would be the top two areas for innovation until 2015, the plan said.

Dr Li Guoxiang from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said investment in agricultural science had long been inadequate.

When the Central Rural Work Conference opened on Tuesday, Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to let farmers benefit more from land sales accompanying urbanisation.

'We have seen great economic growth and we can no longer lower the costs of industrialisation and urbanisation by sacrificing farmers' rights to land,' he said.