The “Chinese economic miracle” have captured the complete world’s attention, particularly if it comes to production, manufacturing, sourcing, FDI inflow to China etc’. But should we know about the most significant sector from the Chinese labour market – the agricultural sector?
The PRC inherited a ruined country, exhausted from both artificial disasters including warlords, civil wars, occupation, and disasters, droughts, famine, and floods.
During the Mao era, the Chinese government completed a wide ranging land reform inside the rural areas. Farmers with minimal land got land of their, significantly arousing their enthusiasm for production. Overall in Mao’s period, China’s agriculture developed slowly, with many golden times for instance 1953-57 once the yearly gross output increased by 4.5% an average of.
Under Mao, the conceptual role of agriculture was imperative. The Chinese farmer was fundamentally the equivalent for the Soviet blue collar proletarian, thus the significance of the farmers inside class struggle was fundamental.
After 1978 and in the reforms, China introduced your family contract responsibility system, linking remuneration to output, and did start to dismantle the people’s commune system, eliminating the hyperlinks between organizations of state power and economic organizations. Contracting land to farmers altered the distribution way of land and mobilized the farmers’ enthusiasm for production. As a result, for six years following 1978, agricultural output grew in excess of twice as fast because the average growth rate above the previous 25 years.
The reforms made the marketplace play a simple role in adjusting supply and demand situation for agricultural products and allocating resources, and aroused the farmers’ creativeness and enthusiasm for production.
On the full, the reformist thrust of China’s economic policy since 1978 has benefited agriculture, the way it has benefited the economy generally. Nevertheless, after 3 decades of reforms, the sector remains behind the majority of the other sectors within the Chinese economy.
The economic and political role of agriculture in contemporary China –
- Food security. In an extremely large and populated country like China, the technique of food security is fundamentally important. The task of feeding its people continues to be perhaps the first priority of their rulers throughout history.
- Political and social stability. The farmers of China are acknowledged to have a “rebellious spirit”, that is well documented inside the history books. When famine, war, or another extreme conditions was held, the farmers of China, whom use being the majority on the population, and remain for being the largest gang of China’s people, decided to strike. Thus, there’s a consensus there is no stability devoid of the farmers / agriculture, along with order in order to avoid “da luan” – big chaos, the farmers have to be kept quiet and content. At present still, the farmers of China are definitely the largest, yet under-represented group, which sports ths keys to stability in China.
- Employment tool. The concept of agriculture as a possible employment tool in China is a little of a paradox. On the one hand there’s a massive scale of labour surplus within the agricultural sector, contributing to underemployment as well as unemployment. On the other hand, agriculture remains being the biggest sector to blame for the employing feeding, and thus keeping social and political order close to 60% of China’s population.
- GDP share. The reforms inside the early 1980s initially increased the relatively share with the agricultural sector. The share of agricultural output inside the total GDP rose from 30% in 1980 to 33% in 1983. Since then, however, the share of agriculture within the total GDP has fallen fairly steadily, and also by 2003 it turned out only 14%. These figures indicate a rather small share in the agricultural sector, nevertheless a noteworthy one inside overall performance in the Chinese economy.
What are definitely the main obstacles on the agricultural sector in China than?
- Natural resources and disasters. At the beginning with the 21st century, China has still to deal with and take care of a number of severe ecological / environmental problems, some include the consequences of human mistakes, plus some are simply a consequence of “mother nature’s” course. The main complaints are water supply, i.e. shortage, wastage and quality. In the agricultural context, irrigation is likely being the most important factor.
- Education. Chinese policy documents report that national modernization is determined by accelerating quantity-quality transition within the countryside, just because a large “low quality” rural populace hinders progression from tradition, poverty and agrarianism to modernity and prosperity.
- Technology. The standard of an country’s agriculture is appraised, above all, through the competence of the farmers. Poorly trained farmers aren’t capable of applying advanced methods and technology. Deng Xiaoping always stressed the prominent of science and technology within the development of agriculture. He said – “The growth and development of agriculture depends first on policy, and second on science. There is no limit to developments in technology and science, nor to your role that they may play….inside the end it might be that science will give you a solution to our agricultural problems”.
Accordingly, China is seeking technology transfer inside agricultural sector, formed by joint ventures with international collaborators.
- Limited investment from government. Between the Second and Fifth five-year plan periods (1958-1962 and 1976-1980), agriculture’s share of capital construction along with relevant sorts of investment made available because of the state remained slightly over 10%. In 1998 agriculture and irrigation accounted, respectively, on the cheap thsn 2% and 3.5% of the state construction investment.
- Limited inflow of FDI – foreign direct investment. Most sectors in China enjoy a tremendous inflow of FDI, which particularly helped into two dimensions – technology transfer and capital availability. The lack of some other funding, followed by a reduced local funding contributed towards the deterioration on the agricultural sector.