From feeding people to feeding them well

BEIJING, Sept. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by on China's evolution of agriculture:

From feeding people to feeding them well

China is one of the oldest civilizations where agriculture began. The areas of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers saw a mature agricultural civilization 5000 years ago.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), how to feed 500 million people became a top concern of the newly established government.

In the early 1950s, China had mostly a small-scale peasant economy; cattle, hoes and the likes were the main farming tools. Following the reforms and opening up in 1978, rural China began to implement the household responsibility system, which greatly awakened farmers' enthusiasm for production. Agricultural business entities like family farms, large specialized farms and leading enterprises emerged one after another. By 2016, there were 1.14 million combine harvesters and 14.31 million power-driven irrigation and drainage systems in China.

Agricultural development depends on both policy support and science & technology. Chinese farmers used to live at the mercy of the weather. Since the 1950s, the state's financial input in agricultural innovation has increased steadily, resulting in breakthroughs made constantly in the fields of biological breeding, agricultural remote sensing and informatization. The national grain output has kept above 1.2 trillion tons for six running years and the total output of meat and fruits ranked first in the world. To Chinese, having enough to eat and wear is no longer a problem now.

Nevertheless, people want to eat better. In the past, due to a shortage of leaf vegetables in winter, people in north China had the habit of storing cabbages up. Now, with greenhouses nationwide covering over 334 thousand hectares, and vegetable shades 981 thousand hectares, the habit is already a thing of the past.

With the boom in agriculture come the increasingly bulging wallets. Farmers' per capita disposable income grew dramatically from 134 yuan in 1978 to 13,432 yuan in 2017. More and more beautiful villages and towns integrating nature, leisure, culture and tourism are under construction. China is striding forward towards an agriculturally advanced and powerful country.

China Mosaic
From feeding people to feeding them well

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