City to Make Changes in Farm Machinery Subsidy Scheme
The local government is planning to give priority to all growers of key staple crops under the changes to its farm machinery subsidy scheme, as the city is seeking to guarantee self sufficiency on food in midst of a declining rural work force.
To maintain food security is one of the country’s top policy priorities for several years now as rapid urbanization is swallowing up farmlands and reducing rural workforce by attracting farmers to better paying jobs in the city. 120 billion yuan was allocated by the government to farm machinery subsidies since 2004 which supported the purchase of more than 35 million pieces of machinery. This help raise mechanization across farms in China up to 61 percent compared to 33 percent in 2003.
But government plans is planning to reduce the categories which includes the scheme over the next three years from 175 items down to 137. This is to give prioritization to the full mechanization of the country’s most important crops. Farm mechanization is a key tool in countering the decline in rural productivity as machinery is already being used in harvesting grain and cotton which significantly lowed costs.