Sunday, October 19, 2008

China liberalizes farmers' land use right to boost rural development

The Communist Party of China issued a landmark policy document on Sunday to allow farmers to "lease their contracted farmland or transfer their land use right" to boost the scale operation of farm production and provide funds for them to start new businesses.

The Decision on Major Issues Concerning the Advancement of Rural Reform and Development was approved by the CPC Central Committee on Oct. 12 in a plenary session.

According to the full text of the document, markets for the lease of contracted farmland and transfer of farmland use right shall be set up and improved to allow farmers to sub-contract, lease, exchange and swap their land use rights, or joined share-holding entities with their farmland.

Such transfers of land-use rights must be voluntarily participated by farmers, with adequate payment and in accordance with the law, the CPC Central Committee said.

According to domestic law, farmland is collectively owned, but meted out to farmers in small plots in long term leasing contracts. The new measures adopted are seen by economists as a major breakthrough in land reforms initiated by late leader Deng Xiaoping 30 years ago to avail farmers of opportunities to conduct scale management and new business operations.

Source: Xinhua

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