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Press Release for November 29, 2018 Media Briefing by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government

November 30, 2018

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a press conference today (November 29) during which Zhang Guokun, director of the Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission, made an introduction about the newly released Shanghai Rural Revitalization Strategic Plan (2018-2022) and the Shanghai Rural Revitalization Implementation Plan (2018-2022). Deputy directors of the commission Feng Zhiyong, Ye Junping,Wang Guozhong and Li Erli were also present at the conference and joined Zhang to take questions from the media.

The rural revitalization plan is a strategic decision and arrangement with profound significance made by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core to push forward national development. It also goes in line with the country’s thousands of millions of farmers’ expectations for living a beautiful life and is a historically significant goal as China aims to build itself into a moderately prosperous society and a great modern socialist country. The implementation of the rural revitalization plan is of milestone significance in the country’s development of its agriculture, rural areas and farmers. Earlier this year, the central government has released an official document providing fundamental guidelines for the country’s overall rural revitalization. And Shanghai’s rural revitalization strategy is closely related to its modernization process. In March, the CPC Shanghai Committee and the Shanghai municipal government have jointly released implementation opinions on the State Council’s opinions on rural revitalization featuring the city’s own guidelines, policies and goals. On November 23, the Shanghai Rural Revitalization Strategic Plan (2018-2022) and the Shanghai Rural Revitalization Implementation Plan (2018-2022) were both reviewed and approved by the standing committee of the CPC Shanghai Committee which has proposed three main tasks, namely improving the economic strength of villages, raising people’s income and beautifying the environment, in implementing rural revitalization plan and speeding up the process of building a new rural landscape that maintains watertown characteristics.

So far this year, based on the central government’s master plan and guidelines on rural revitalization, Shanghai has made great efforts in the following areas: 

(1) Overall planning and implementation. First, strategic planning. Shanghai Rural Revitalization Strategic Plan (2018-2022) and Shanghai Rural Revitalization Implementation Plan (2018-2022), which were formulated by Shanghai Municipal Development & Reform Commission and Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission, have been reviewed and approved by the Standing Committee of Shanghai Municipal Party Committee. Second, village planning. Shanghai will focus on solving the problem of scattered distribution, small scale and uncoordinated style of villages. In late August, Guidelines for Preparation of Village Planning and the Guidelines for the Design of Suburban Areas and Countryside Landscapes have been completed and the village planning work has been clearly implemented. By 2019, full coverage of the plan will be achieved. Third, agricultural layout plan. Shanghai will define three districts including grain production functional zone, vegetable production protection zone and characteristic agricultural product zone, so that the planning can be completed and implemented and fully integrated into the national land management.

(2) Top-level design of the policy. In order to further highlight the problems and enhance the guiding role of the policy, the city systematically sorted out and screened 128 agricultural policy documents issued since 2013. The city will also formulate “1+19” supporting documents to promote rural revitalization. Currently, 14 policy documents have been or will be released and 6 policy documents are seeking opinions from the public. Among all of the documents, the city will first make major adjustments to the agriculture-related fiscal policy and formulate the Implementation Opinions on Establishing a Long-Term Mechanism for the Allocation of Agriculture Funds in the City, focusing on breaking the traditional mechanism and change the current situation of decentralized funds. The city will carry out specialized project plus task list management model and bring funds to various agriculture-related areas. Second, in order to further activate the resources of peasant idle houses, the Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Development of Country Houses was formulated on the basis of investigation. The Opinions solved the bottlenecks of land, fire protection, industrial and commercial registration and security guarantees that have long restricted the development of houses in villages and created favorable conditions for increased farmers’ incomes. Third, the city will increase top-level design of policies in agricultural and rural land use, in order to meet expectations of grassroots cadres. It is clear that by strengthening the comprehensive improvement of rural land and the revitalization of construction land, it is mainly used for the construction of agricultural facilities, leisure agriculture and rural tourism. Regulations on the management of agricultural land use and standards for the actual needs of Shanghai urban modern green agriculture development have also been formulated and relevant policy opinions have been issued. Fourth, Shanghai will adjust and improve the new round of policies to promote the development of villages. Shanghai will focus on integrating the power of the city and districts and greatly increase the assistance funds. The city will raise funds of no less than 5 billion yuan to help build a batch of industrial projects in the relatively weak agricultural areas. The special funds will focus on helping poor farmers in economically weak villages to comprehensively improve their life quality. Fifth, in order to improve farmers’ incomes, the farmers’ training policies will be deepened and improved. Focusing on industrial development, promoting employment as the goal, non-agricultural employment as the focus, precise docking as the path, Shanghai will provide employment and training services to farmers who are unemployed and have the willingness to work. The city will provide personalized training and employment services to farmers, in order to achieve full coverage of farmers' training and employment services and lay a solid foundation for farmers to increase their income.

(3) Practice and exploration. First, we will improve the turnover of rural land, to lay a good foundation for the development of urban modern green agriculture. It is expected that by the end of this year, the turnover rate of rural contracted land in the city will reach 80 percent. And at the same time, the city will implement unified management for the turnover of leased land at the regional level. Second, we will pick up the pace of restructuring the agricultural industry. We will actively promote the transformation of agriculture from increasing production to improving quality and efficiency, and accelerate the development of agriculture in the direction of better quality, characterization, and branding. The proportion of green agricultural products has increased from 4 percent in 2016 to 13 percent at present, and is expected to rise to 30 percent in 2022 to rank first in the country. Third, we will continue to boost the development of beautiful rural areas. We will advance the construction of beautiful rural areas at a high starting point, with high standards and high quality, and lay emphasis on carrying out annual projects to renovate villages. At present, the city has assessed 62 beautiful rural demonstration villages, and by the end of the year the number will reach 75, and up to 200 by the year 2022. This will play an important role in improving the rural outlook of Shanghai. Fourth, we will launch pilot projects on setting demonstration villages for rural vitalization. On the basis of completing agricultural and village planning, in order to further upgrade the village patterns, residential environment and industrial level, and to actively develop new industries and new business types such as characteristic agriculture and leisure agriculture, we have been working on the pilot declaration and selection of rural revitalization demonstration villages, and have drawn up a standard guide for the construction of demonstration villages. Nine villages (one in each agricultural-related area) have been listed among the first batch of units to be constructed. This action aims to explore the mode and path of realizing the goal of "beauty in ecology, wealth in industry and root in culture" in suburban rural areas of metropolises. At present, this work is being carried out in an orderly manner. Fifth, we will formulate an implementation plan for improving rural human settlements (2018-2020). The plan will pay prior emphasis on 11 remediation tasks including the development of the "four 'Good's of rural roads" -- good construction, good management, good maintenance and good operation, garbage treatment, domestic sewage treatment, water environment improvement. It will also define the goals and tasks for each stages and periods, and vigorously promote the renovation of rural human settlements.

For the next step, we must focus on strengthening the villages, enriching the people, and beautifying the environment, and unswervingly do a good job in the following work:

We should strengthen the implementation of relevant mechanisms. Firstly, we need to improve the organizational system. We will implement the five-level secretary's efforts to revitalize the countryside, further improve the rural work institutions of the Party committees at the municipal and district levels, strengthen the allocation and management of leading cadres in the work of "agriculture, countryside and farmers", fully mobilize the enthusiasm of grass-roots cadres in towns and villages, and enhance the participation of villagers.

Secondly, we should promote supervision and assessment of the rural revitalization. We will intensify the supervision in all agricultural-related areas, report the situation to municipal committees and municipal governments, inform relevant districts of the results and disclose it to the public in due time. We will entrust third parties to evaluate the performance and interview the districts ranking at the end of the appraisal.  

Thirdly, we should make more smoothly information delivery by establishing information exchange system, making timely summary of typical experience and aim to let those who have achieved better achievements play a leading role.

We should organize and implement key work and projects. We should make a good plan for the revitalization of Shanghai's countryside so that it not only fully reflects that Shanghai's countryside is an international metropolis, but also embodies the rich connotations of such project. Revitalization of the rural areas should cover all aspects including rural industry, ecology, lifestyle, culture, governance and the enrichment of the people.

On November 23, the Standing Committee of the Municipal Committee of the CPC deliberated and adopted the Implementation Plan for the Revitalization of Rural Areas in Shanghai (2018-2022). It was proposed that the key to the revitalization of rural areas in Shanghai should be the "363" project, namely, the "Three Homes" project (beautiful home, green pastoral garden and happy paradise), the implementation of six action plans and the implementation of the three major safeguard mechanisms.

We should strive to resolve key problems. For problems that have been generally voiced at the grass-roots level, we should define people who are responsible for such issues and clearly assign the tasks.

For the problem of farmers' centralized residence, it is necessary to find out the bottom number through investigation and research, improve policies, and put forward following measures to promote relevant work, so as to change the scattered living style of rural areas.

For the problem of homestead, we should focus on perfecting the policy of homestead replacement, formulating homestead translation policy, defining the scope and standard of homestead merger, and activating rural land elements.

For the house-building issues in rural areas, it is necessary to put forward clear policies and measures through investigation, and revise and improve relevant provisions on the management of such problem.