Beijing authorities have attacked local governments who have tried to force a land ownership scheme on to farmers. Leaders have pledged to give maximum support to peasants who have been exploited by improper use of the Dual Land Ownership scheme. In an attempt to boost farming tax income and to obtain more grain from farmers, some village officials ignored central policy. They had forced new measures on to farmers to change land ownership, a Beijing official said. Farmers were awarded 15-year contracts under the Contract Responsibility System after the country's market-style economic reforms in the early 1980s. In renewing contracts in the past two years, some were given terms of up to 30 years but most were given three to 10-year terms or forced to adopt the Dual Land Ownership System. Under the Contract Responsibility System, farmers sell a certain quota of their produce to the Government at the state-promised rate and are allowed to sell the remainder on the open market. But under the Dual Land Ownership System, village authorities divide farmers' allocated land into two parts: one for the family and the other for collectives. Under the new system, farmers can only keep produce grown on family plots and all produce from collectives goes to village governments. 'These local officials are blinded by their desire to boost tax revenue and have ignored strong resentment by peasants over the new measure,' the official said. He said that central authorities had not approved. Xinhua yesterday quoted Professor Yu Keping, director of the Marxism Research Institute under the Central Party School, as saying the Dual Land Ownership System had become the key factor for rural instability.