The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the country's first policy document of 2013 at the end of last month. For the 10th consecutive year, the first central document has focused on rural issues.
Among the document's goals, the government's plan to encourage and guide urban capital to invest in certain agricultural businesses has drawn much attention. Although this marks the first time that such a document has mentioned urban capital, there is nothing new about this phenomena. Statistics show that by the end of June 2012, industrial and commercial enterprises had rented 1.66 million hectares of contracted land from farmers, a sharp increase of 84.6 percent compared with the end of 2009.
It bears pointing out that the encouragement of urban investment in rural areas is aimed at accelerating agricultural modernization and operational management. It doesn't mean industrial and commercial enterprises should rent massive amounts of land. Enterprises should push forward the development of rural infrastructure instead of trying to replace farmers in agricultural production.
The author is Zhu Changjun, a commentator.
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