Neglected farmers need more independence to manage the land

The countryside has been neglected in the dash for urbanization. But attention is now focusing on agricultural productivity. To succeed, farmers need more independence to manage the land

The World Today Published 6 February 2015 Updated 5 January 2021 5 minute READ

Gang Chen

Chairman and a senior partner, Jade Fountain PRC Lawyers based in Shanghai.

While the major cities of China have been attracting the world’s headlines, it is likely that its vast and often neglected countryside will play a key role in the next phase of its economic development. Although China is the world’s third largest country in terms of terrain, the actual amount of land suitable for agriculture is small, estimated at a mere seven per cent of the total.

On average, each farmer has only 1,900 square metres of land, about half an acre. The vast majority of farmers suffer from low income, low social status and endure a hard life.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.