I am very happy and honored to attend this conference and make a report on agricultural issues. In the speeches of the leaders this morning, I realized that the agricultural issue has received high attention in our annual meeting of the Association for Science and Technology. Not only did I hear the emphasis on agricultural issues many times in the leaders ’speeches, but I also saw this week the Association of Science and Technology awarded the Zhou Guangzhao Foundation Agricultural Scientist Award, which is all encouragement and encouragement to agricultural science and technology workers. I am also very glad to see that two of the seven award-winning agricultural scientists are from China Agricultural University, and I am proud and proud of them.
This topic has special significance in today’s meeting place, that is, our place is Henan. After 30 years of development in China’s agricultural problems, we have achieved world-renowned great achievements, but we still face a series of severe challenges. The following report is more about challenges than achievements, because I am not talking about the past 30 years, but now and in the future.
I mainly talk about three questions. The first problem is the nature of the agricultural problem and its significance. The second issue is the status and prospects of China’s agriculture. The third issue is the strategic thinking for solving China’s agricultural problems.
First, the nature of agricultural issues and its great significance. This question is very important, not from a theoretical point of view, but from the significance of thinking about agricultural issues. Looking at a set of data, this is the status of agriculture in the national economy. (Picture) After thirty years of reform and opening up, we can see that the status of agriculture in the national economy has declined in terms of its share, whether it is the share of GDP, the share of the population, the share of employment, the share of trade, or even among consumers. The share of expenditure is falling, but its basic status and importance have not changed. Please pay attention to two figures. One is the proportion of agriculture in GDP, which is now only 11%. And the proportion of employment still accounts for 41%. These two data tell us the truth. 41% of people create and share 11% of the wealth.
This is a basic source of China’s farmers’ income problem and the gap between urban and rural incomes. The figures in the last two lines of this report are also what we usually call the Engel coefficient. The proportion of food consumption in household expenditure is 36% for urban consumers and 43% for rural residents. The proportion is still relatively high, which is the basic reason why agricultural products have a relatively large and significant contribution to inflation.
The share of plutonium has decreased, but the importance of agriculture has not decreased. This is reflected in the special status of party and state work on agriculture and rural issues in recent years. From 2004 to 2008, the Party Central Committee and the State Council successively issued five No. 1 documents, all of which involved agricultural issues. As we can see from the titles of the five No. 1 documents, three of them highlighted agricultural issues. The first document in 2005 emphasized “improving the comprehensive agricultural production capacity”, and in 2007 emphasized “the development of modern agriculture”. In 2008, emphasis was placed on “strengthening agricultural infrastructure”.
The Central Committee of the Party and the State Council regard the issue of agriculture, rural areas, and farmers as the top priority of the work of the whole party and the whole country. The very important reason is that the agricultural problem is very serious. The Third Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee is about to be held. We believe that agriculture will still be an important theme in the resolution of the Third Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee.
Why the Party Central Committee and the State Council attach so much importance to agricultural issues. To understand the importance of agricultural problems, we need to understand the nature of agricultural problems? What problems must be solved to develop agriculture? There are many problems, but so many agricultural problems can be summarized into two major problems. One is the issue of the quantity of agricultural products and the quality of agricultural products. The issue of quantity is the issue of food security. In addition to the quality itself, the issue of quality also includes the issue of food quality and safety, especially the issue of food quality and safety. In the past few days, a very prominent issue in the media discussion is that Sanlu’s milk powder contains trichloroamine. This is a very typical example. Avian influenza, mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease, etc. have caused major food quality and safety issues. All agricultural problems can be manifested in many aspects, if summarized it is nothing but two problems.
The reason why our country ’s agricultural problems are now facing severe challenges is that the pressure is that we have not solved these two problems well. The issue of quantity is now more and more seen. The great significance of the agricultural problem is that both the quantity and quality of agricultural products are related to the entire national economy and people’s livelihood. Such an analogy may not be appropriate. We can repair 10,000 roads and 10 bridges, but the production of food will be reduced by 5%. Try it out. The impact is global, not a province, but Nationally, not farmers, but the whole society. And it is an event that can cause a crisis, it is urgency. The problem of rising pork prices in the first half of this year and the current food crisis in the world can be seen in this urgency. It is not mild. It has a certain degree of crisis.
The development of agriculture in the new period is expanding in addition to basic food issues, industrial needs, and food quality and safety issues. We have summarized the functions of agriculture into five Fs: food, feed, fiber, fuel, and fun. It meets the needs of industry and raw materials, and other functions have become increasingly prominent. One of these functions is fuel, which uses agriculture to produce fuel alcohol and biodiesel. Another function is leisure, and the value of sightseeing, tourism, and ecology has become increasingly prominent. In summary, the first three functions are closer to developing countries, and the last two functions are more prominent in developed countries.
The reason why the development of modern agriculture can become the subject of Document No. 1 is that it has a series of great significance. One is to ensure the country’s food security, the second is to increase farmers’ income, the third is to ensure the basis of industrial raw materials, and the fourth is to ensure the health of consumers. Fifth, improving agricultural competitiveness and promoting ecological environmental protection. There are many examples of these aspects.
China’s agricultural problems are similar to those of developed and developing countries in the world. However, China’s agricultural problems must consider its particularities or characteristics when researching and examining agricultural policies. The first is the long-term. There is a contradiction between positive demand growth and insufficient supply in China. This contradiction will exist for a long time. Another contradiction is the contradiction between small production and large markets. There are still more than 200 million peasant households, and the average economic size of each peasant household is very small, equivalent to 1/400 of the United States. Compared with our neighbors South Korea and Japan, it is only equivalent to about one-third of them. Even if we moved half of the current peasants or two-thirds of our peasants, our size has tripled, which is only about the same as that of South Korea and Japan. It is not expected to be reached by 2020.
After all, the scale of agriculture in many places is still shrinking. International. In the mid-1990s, American scholars put forward the argument of “who will feed China”. The Chinese have a deep understanding of the international issues of food issues, and people with ulterior motives have been used by the ulterior motives as a threat to China evidence. China is a big country. A big country has two meanings. One is that if we need to import, there are not so many sufficient quantities, which is a large quantity for the international market and a small quantity for us. South Korea has only a few million rice, which is only a few percent for us. The second implication of the great power effect is that as soon as China imports, world food prices will come up, and imports will increase everything. American scholars did mathematical model research and came to the conclusion that these Chinese traders are very stupid, when the international market prices are high, they tend to go in, and when the international market prices are low, they tend to export. In fact, the causality has been reversed. As soon as China said that it was going to import, the prices of agricultural products in New York and Chicago suddenly rose.
Public welfare. There are several implications. The first is the goal, the development of agriculture, and industrial policy is the goal. The relevant central government departments are currently formulating very large plans in Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Henan. As far as I know, Henan ’s goal is to increase Henan ’s grain output by 300 million. To this end, the country will spend a lot of money on construction. Why is this happening? Because of food security and agricultural product security, that is the goal of the government. That is not necessarily the goal of the farmer. For the country, I need enough food, but for a farmer one by one, he may not have such a demand. He wants to grow three acres of land, five acres of land, and what he does. With the most income, he thought so. Farmers have grown grains, and they may or may not be high yields. In many places, the economy is very good, because a large number of farmers go out to work, and the money they earn a day is far more than the money to farm. Many fields in the south are no longer planted, and winter idle fields are very good for developing agriculture, but farmers are not interested in them because they invest too much and earn too much income, so there is a contradiction between the government’s goals and the farmers’ goals. Both exist objectively.
的 The limitation of the market mechanism is the necessity of the government’s poverty alleviation. Many things can be solved by the market, highways can be collected, bridges can be collected and bridge tolls can be collected, and many basic design and construction of agriculture cannot be done by the market. It is also difficult to attract foreign investment because foreign businesses are not profitable and rely entirely on The market economy mechanism is not profitable, so it has public welfare. In order to solve the problems that the market mechanism ca n’t and cannot do, the government must adopt various favorable policies and measures to increase the enthusiasm of farmers or improve their production conditions, or teach them production technology, and improve their scientific and cultural quality.
All this requires the state finances to get money. Related to this are many theoretical issues, government goals and peasant goals, quantity and price, long-term and short-term, production and reserve, production elasticity, and so on. The agricultural issue is so important. It has such characteristics. What kind of status quo is our current agriculture, and what are our future development prospects? This is a problem that our country is very concerned about, and it is also a concern of many agricultural system departments and all sectors of society. Looking at the current situation, we have achieved a bumper grain harvest for four consecutive years, and we may also achieve a record five-year bumper crop. However, there is still a large gap in domestic production and demand. Take grain, for example, the results of research and calculation by different institutions say that the gap is 20 billion kilograms, and some say 30 billion kilograms.
Those who have a gap may not feel it for two reasons. One reason is related to demand. Take a look at the official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. Compared with 2005, the output of meat in 2007 was reduced by 11% for two consecutive years, and the output of pork was reduced by 14%. It takes a few pounds of grain to produce a pound of meat, and about 3.5-4 pounds of feed produces a pound of pork. Reducing the production of so much meat saves the corresponding feed and grain, about 50 billion kilograms. If 2006 or 2007 also produced the same or more meat in 2005, today’s food prices are by no means what they are today, because demand will rise to tens of billions of pounds.
We also need to import soybeans. The imported quantity is 30 million tons. Some people may not understand what the concept of 30 million tons is. The total production of soybeans in the world is almost 60 million tons. Two-thirds of it was bought, similar to cotton, and now one-third of cotton is imported. In other words, if we did n’t import so many soybeans last year and did n’t import so much cotton, how much land do we need for domestic production? We need to come up with an additional 300 million acres of land. Our current total arable land area is 1.83 billion acres and the planting area is 2.3 billion acres. If we do not import these two products, we will have to provide an additional 13% of the area. Where do we find this? What about 13% of the area? Changes in domestic market prices. Pork prices in the past two years have been the vanguard of rising prices. Pork prices have risen sharply in the past two years. Since March this year, there has been a steady decline. Pork production has fallen for two consecutive years, leading to a large-scale rise in pork prices. This is the effect of reduced meat production and higher prices. The impact on different groups is different. The first impact is on consumers, especially on low-income families and poor college students. Many people, including some media, pay attention to this effect, but when the quantity is reduced, it affects not only the price but the consumption of low-income consumers. Total meat production has fallen by 11% in two years and pork has fallen by 14%. Imports can be ignored.
Will subsidies work? Relevant state departments have issued a series of policies, one of which is to subsidize low-income urban groups, including urban college students. In fact, this policy is of course caring for the disadvantaged. I support and agree emotionally, but as a researcher in economics, I don’t think this policy will play much of a role. Because the problem has not been solved fundamentally, the reason for the price increase is because the quantity is small, the quantity is 14% and 11% less, and it cannot be imported. Therefore, some of our 1.3 billion people are destined to eat less than 7 million tons of meat. Who eats less can only be a low-income class. Because the subsidy was 20 yuan and 30 yuan, the consumer was very happy at the beginning. He continued to buy pork with this money and gave him a concept. After eating so much pork last year, he can still eat so much meat with the subsidy, but in fact the market does not have So much meat. Low-income consumers are still competing with high-income pork for holding this subsidy. They can only further increase the price of pork. Low-income consumers realize that holding subsidies is not useful. They need to reduce consumption and eat less meat. No matter how much the subsidy is compared with the high-income class, the high-income class can not reduce consumption, but the low-income class can reduce consumption, because the total market is 11% less, and only people can eat this 11% less.