A farmer walks in the field in Rongjiang County of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Hu Tao)
Agriculture, rural areas and farmer's issues remain China's top priorities for the 16th consecutive year as its "No. 1 central document" prioritizes development of agriculture and rural areas.
The document, the first policy statement released by central authorities each year and seen as an indicator of policy priorities, was made public Tuesday by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.
"This year and the next will mark a decisive period for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and quite a few tough tasks must be fulfilled in the fields relating to agriculture, rural areas and rural people," the document said.
"Unswerving efforts must be made to ensure that addressing the issues relating to agriculture, rural areas and rural people enjoy a central place on the work agenda of the CPC.
"The country should consolidate the sound momentum for agricultural and rural development, capitalize on the role of agriculture, rural areas and rural people as the ballast stone, and win the upper hand in effectively handling risks and challenges."
Work must be done to deepen agricultural supply-side structural reform, win the tough battle against poverty, give full play to the key role of rural primary-level Party organizations, and push forward rural vitalization in all respects, according to the document.
In doing so, the country will ensure the fulfillment of goals and tasks for rural reform and development by 2020, it added.
Existent policies will be fully implemented to ensure the country's poverty elimination targets being realized - to lift all its rural residents living below current poverty line out of poverty and eliminate poverty in all poor counties and regions by 2020.
Focus will be put on providing assistance to areas of extreme poverty, via favorable policies ranging from major projects, poor resident relocation, finance and nurturing of talent.
The country vowed to solve prominent problems involving poverty reduction, and pledged consistent efforts to crack down on corruption and misconduct, according to the document.
The document noted that the country will strive to ensure effective supply of major agricultural products. Efforts will be made to ensure that grain planting area remains steady at 1.65 billion mu (110 million hectares) and arable land area is kept above 1.8 billion mu, as well as develop 800 million mu of high-standard farmland by 2020.
It said the country will move to optimize agricultural structure, boost production of green agricultural products or those in short supply, and roll out plans to increase soybean planting and support dairy industry.
The country vowed to step up breakthrough in key agricultural core technologies, and promote independent innovation in areas including biological breeding, heavy agricultural machinery, smart agriculture and green agricultural inputs.
The document also noted the country will enhance agricultural cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road, actively expand imports of agricultural products in short supply at home, diversify importing channels, and foster the development of multinational agricultural corporations.
Progress should be made to promote rural development as well as improve rural living environments and public services such as education, health care, social security, elderly care and culture.
The country will take measures to improve rural infrastructure including roads, grids and logistics network, as well as enhance pollution treatment and environmental protection.
According to the document, the country will foster the development of rural industries and diversify channels to increase the income of farmers.
It stressed developing industries with local characteristics, modern agricultural product processing and new rural services. The country will also push forward a digital countryside strategy.
The country should improve employment services and vocational training to promote the employment of the rural labor force and increase their incomes, the document said.
China will encourage rural migrant workers, college graduates, veterans and urban personnel to make innovations and start businesses in rural areas, and support the building of service platforms to encourage business startups.
Efforts will be stepped up to build a new policy system for agricultural subsidies, according to the document, which said the country would formulate and improve agriculture support and protection policies following principles that comply with World Trade Organization rules, protect farmers' interests and support agricultural development.
The document also covered policies to improve the rural governance mechanism to maintain rural harmony and stability, strengthen rural primary-level Party organizations, and enhance Party leadership on agricultural and rural affairs.