More farmers get government financial support in Yangtze River delta
Shi Haiyan, a farmer in east China's Zhejiang Province, will begin her
study at the Zhejiang Forestry College after the Spring Festival, or the Chinese
Lunar New Year holidays.
What makes her different from other students in the
college is that the Zhejiang Provincial government will pay her two-year tuition
During her stay at the college, Shi will study the prevention and
treatment of forest diseases and insect pests, cultivation of cash fruit trees,
cultivation of medicinal herbs in mountainous areas, raising special cash
animals, cultivation of highland vegetables and other modern farming
Shi will return to her home village of Huangjiashe in Yunhe
County to continue farming operations after she graduates from the
"To boost agricultural development, farmers need to learn more and
to improve their technological skills in farming," said an official with the
Zhejiang Provincial Agriculture Bureau.
The official said that Zhejiang
Province plans to train one million farmers in agricultural know-how and
practical skills in the coming five years.
Zhejiang is not an exception among
the provinces and municipalities in the Yangtze River delta area in expanding
investment in rural economic and social development.
The Yangtze River delta
is one of the leading economically-developed regions in China. The delta
includes Shanghai Municipality and Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, covering some
100,000 square kilometers.
This year Jiangsu Province will earmark at least
20 billion yuan (about US$2.5 billion) for rural and agricultural development
and for programs which help farmers to raise income, said Bao Guoxin, director
of the Jiangsu Provincial Finance Bureau.
Bao said, "We can cut input in
other fields, but we cannot cut financial support to the farmers."
Jiangsu would spend more than 100 billion yuan on the development of rural
education, training of the farmers, highway construction, health projects,
cultural programs and environmental protection in the next five
Jiangsu's revenue reached 300 billion yuan last year.
the Shanghai Municipal government said that the city would enhance its efforts
to boost agricultural development with industrial development methods and boost
rural development with the support of cities.
Shanghai will also speed up
urbanization, modernization of agriculture and integrated development of rural
and urban areas in the coming five years, the sources said. By the end of 2010,
75 percent of the population in rural Shanghai will live in newly-developed
cities and towns.
Local governments in the Yangtze River delta area have also
increased financial support for rural education and social security, among
Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai announced that, starting this year,
they would exempt rural students from tuition fees and other charges during the
nine-year compulsory education period.
Jiangsu alone will allocate at least
two billion yuan from its revenues for the exemption subsidies. Shanghai also
plans to encourage outstanding teachers to teach students in suburban
Moreover, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have granted basic living subsidies to
all needy rural residents in their provinces. Shanghai aims to raise the old-age
pension and steadily improve medical services for the rural people annually for
the next five years.
Granting more financial support to farmers is not simply
a revenue-sharing scheme, but a move which aims to boost rural development and
improve farmers' living standards, said Bao, the director of the Jiangsu
Provincial Finance Bureau.