A new guideline supporting rural entrepreneurship and innovation will enable more migrant workers, college graduates and those in high-tech sectors to start businesses in rural areas and help improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector, a senior official said. In a guideline issued late last month [November 2016], the State Council said it would further expand market access, increase financial support and provide more training courses to encourage more people to start businesses in rural areas…Full Article: China Daily Dec 2016

Key Points

  • The State Council’s guideline would reportedly allow rural entrepreneurs to be covered by social insurance and, if they have a residence permit, their children can receive free education at a local school.
  • Over the past few years, according to China’s Vice-Minister of Agriculture, approximately 5.7 million (including 4.5 migrant workers) have moved to the country’s rural areas.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2016, a report published in China noted that farmers are becoming more unwilling to move to the city/urban centers for work. According to a report that polled Chinese farmers, approximately 51% expressed interest in moving to urban centers, including 11.8% who indicated a “high interest”. The other 49% of respondents expressed no interest in leaving rural areas.
  • From 2011 to 2015, China’s migrant population increased from 252.8 million to 277.5 million. However, the actually proportional year-on-year growth rate has slowed since 2011. Approximately 66% of China’s migrant population are men.
  • China’s urban population was constantly increasing and averaged a 4% annual growth rate from 2000 to 2011. From 1997 to 2000, the number of people living in urban agglomerations with a population above 1 million increased an average of 6% annually. Since 2000, this rate of urbanization to 1 million plus agglomerations slowed slightly to roughly the overall urban growth rate of 4% per year. As of 2010, approximately 37% of China’s urban population lives in urban agglomerations of above 1 million.

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