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Review of China's agricultural and rural development: policy changes and current issues


  • Xiwen Chen


Purpose - Since the start of the twenty-first century China has stepped into a new stage of harmonious urban-rural development. Based on the brief review of policy changes since the new century, the purpose of this paper is to figure out the comprehensive policy framework, and analyze its background and reasons. Design/methodology/approach - First, this paper offers a brief review of China's rural reform with focus on the policy framework and changes since the reform of rural tax and fee system in 2000. Next, the paper focuses on food security to discuss grain price increase and China's grain imports, then the current problems facing China's agricultural and rural development are discussed and countermeasures provided. Findings - The paper finds that several policies have been implemented toward the coordination between urban and rural areas and toward the integration of urban and rural development. However, China's grain production is still facing big challenges, both from the increasing demand and the resource constraint. Therefore, food security should be given priority in future. China's current rural reform and development is also facing the problems such as slow growth of farmer's income, the impacts of migrant rural labourer on economy and society and the outflow of rural resources. Originality/value - This paper reviews systematically major policies of China's agriculture and rural development, and analyzes the characteristics of and reasons for China's grain price increase. Meanwhile, the constraint of resources, especially land and water, is also studied in detail. The paper's analysis can provide important advice for future policy making.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiwen Chen, 2009. "Review of China's agricultural and rural development: policy changes and current issues," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(2), pages 121-135, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:121-135

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beghin, John C., 2006. "Evolving dairy markets in Asia: Recent findings and implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 195-200, June.
    2. Wang, Ji-Min & Zhou, Zhang-Yue & Yang, Jun, 2004. "How Much Animal Product do the Chinese Consume? Empirical Evidence from Household Surveys," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 12.
    3. Fan, Shenggen & Cramer, Gail & Wailes, Eric, 1994. "Food demand in rural China: evidence from rural household survey," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(1), September.
    4. Wang, Qingbin & Fuller, Frank H. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Halbrendt, Catherine K., 1998. "Chinese Consumer Demand For Animal Products And Implications For U.S. Pork And Poultry Exports," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(01), July.
    5. Bai, Junfei & Wahl, Thomas I. & McCluskey, Jill J., 2008. "Fluid milk consumption in urban Qingdao, China," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(2), June.
    6. Lohmar, Bryan & Gale, H. Frederick, Jr. & Tuan, Francis C. & Hansen, James M., 2009. "China's Ongoing Agricultural Modernization: Challenges Remain After 30 Years of Reform," Economic Information Bulletin 58316, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. David L. Ortega & H. Holly Wang & James S. Eales, 2009. "Meat demand in China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(4), pages 410-419, August.
    8. Qingbin Wang & Catherine Chan Halbrendt & Helen H. Jensen, 1997. "China's beer consumption and barley imports," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 73-84.
    9. Kuo S. Huang & Fred Gale, 2009. "Food demand in China: income, quality, and nutrient effects," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(4), pages 395-409, August.
    10. Dong, Fengxia, 2006. "The outlook for Asian dairy markets: The role of demographics, income, and prices," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 260-271, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jim Hansen & Francis Tuan & Linxiu Zhang & Agapi Somwaru, 2011. "Do China's agricultural policies matter for world commodity markets?," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(1), pages 6-25, January.
    2. Julie Wilk & Mattias Hjerpe & Wei Yang & Hua Fan, 2015. "Farm-scale adaptation under extreme climate and rapid economic transition," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 393-407, June.
    3. Xiaoyun Liu & Wanchun Luo & Xuefeng Mao & Xiuqing Wang & Xian Xin, 2010. "The diminishing influences of agricultural output changes on general price changes in China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(3), pages 345-355, September.
    4. Simla Tokgoz & Danielle Alencar Parente Torres & David Laborde & Jikun Huang, 2014. "The role of U.S., China, Brazil's agricultural and trade policies on global food supply and demand," FOODSECURE Working papers 19, LEI Wageningen UR.
    5. Yuheng Li, 2011. "Urban-rural interaction in China: historic scenario and assessment," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 335-349, September.
    6. Meilin Ma & Sandro Steinbach & Junqian Wu, 2014. "A Study on Regional Specialization of China`s Agricultural Production: Recent Trends and Drivers," Asian Journal of Agriculture and rural Development, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(2), pages 113-127, February.
    7. Zhangyue Zhou, 2010. "Achieving food security in China: past three decades and beyond," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(3), pages 251-275, September.
    8. repec:eee:anture:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:24-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Pingyang Liu & Neil Ravenscroft & Marie K. Harder & Xingyi Dai, 2016. "The knowledge cultures of changing farming practices in a water town of the Southern Yangtze Valley, China," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(2), pages 291-304, June.


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