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China's current and future agricultural development faces many problems and challenges. From a national perspective, what are the challenges of agricultural development? I think it can be summarized in one sentence: how to use more and less land, less water, less and more expensive labor to produce more, better and safer Agricultural products.
This is the two ends of a balance: one end is the word "Yue", which is the supply side; the other end is the word "More", which is the demand side. How to keep this balance in balance is a challenge to the country.
From the perspective of agricultural demand, this is the goal to be achieved by China's agriculture. It is a rigid demand and there is not much room for negotiation. Nowadays, we talk about supply-side structural reform every day, and never say that demand-side structural reform is the truth; demand-side cannot be changed.
More agricultural products. First, the population is constantly increasing. The full opening of the "two-child" policy has injected new impetus into the increase in population. There was a net increase of 8.09 million last year, and more will come in the future. Second, income levels have been increasing. This means more consumer demand, including more waste. Third, the proportion of urban population has increased. The urban population is increasing by more than 20 million people every year. Per capita accounts, more people in the city, including migrant workers in the city, than rural people. The fourth is the development of industrialization, which requires the consumption of more agricultural raw materials.
Better produce. After you're full, you're asked to eat better. Mainly taste and look and feel, there are other higher requirements. With the same production technology, better means less. Rice with good taste tends to have a lower yield; native pig stupid chicken tastes better because it is fed for many days, uses more feed, and produces less meat.
Safer agricultural products. This means using safer pesticides, etc. It also means higher costs. There are cheaper and safer methods, such as genetically modified technology, but there are many objections. Even if there is no objection, it is far from easy to develop resistant genetically modified foods.
Looking at the supply side again, this is the focus and focus of the challenge, and the difficulties that must be overcome with various countermeasures. Less and less land. Urbanization and modernization will necessarily occupy land. In the past 5 years alone, the amount of cultivated land occupied across the country has exceeded the total cultivated land available in Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai, and is close to the total cultivated land area in Fujian Province, or twice the total cultivated land in Hainan Province. In the future, houses in the city will continue to be built; highways and high-speed railways will also continue to be built ... Therefore, the reduction of land will also continue. Properly controlled, maybe less.
Less and less water. Just look at the North China Plain. It takes one ton of water to grow one kilogram of wheat; North China's agriculture now depends on groundwater irrigation to a depth of several hundred meters. The groundwater level in many places is still falling year by year, and more than one meter per year. In the future, it may not be whether there is water for growing wheat, but whether there is water for urban and rural residents and water for other industries. Other places have their own water problems, with the Northwest being the most prominent.
Labor issues. More and more young people in rural areas go out to work. Whoever farms is no longer a virtual issue. At the same time, rural labor is becoming increasingly expensive.
During the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" period, the income of migrant workers in cities increased by an average of 12.7% per year. The substantial increase in the income of migrant workers has driven a sharp rise in the cost of agricultural labor. The cost of sugarcane harvesting in Guangxi accounts for about 30% of sugar prices, and the cost of artificial cotton harvesting in Xinjiang accounts for about 40% of cotton prices. More importantly: the increase in labor costs is rigid, it can only rise, and it is difficult to fall.
The above six aspects are very clear. Perhaps the tilt of the balance is not yet obvious. However, if left unchecked, the demand side will continue to fall day by day, and the supply side will float day by day. The result is not difficult to imagine. To meet this challenge requires effort and miracles. The occurrence of miracles lies in innovation, including policy innovation, technological innovation, and organizational innovation. From the perspective of national decision-making, it is necessary to live in peace and plan ahead: the improvement of agricultural production capacity cannot be achieved by working overtime or relying on thirst for digging wells. Kung fu must be ahead. The emphasis is on improving institutions and mechanisms, strengthening infrastructure construction, and increasing investment in agricultural science and technology.
At the same time, this major challenge to the country is a major opportunity and business opportunity for all practitioners involved in the agricultural industry. Such opportunities and business opportunities exist on both the demand side and the supply side. As long as it can contribute to the country's solution of the above challenges through technological innovation, organizational innovation, and business innovation, it will be a great achievement.
August 28, 2017
Chengdu Xinxin Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. Editorial Department
Editor: Little Devil in Gourd