BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Measures to improve China's agriculture and the income for rural people are expected to come out of an annual rural work conference which began here Saturday.
Presided over by the State Council, or the Cabinet, the conference will map out policies on the country's rural development for the next few years.
Earlier this month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), predicted the nation's grain output will increase for five straight years and reach 525 million tonnes in 2008.
At the same time, per capita income for Chinese farmers would increase more than 6 percent year-on-year. The amount was near 4,000 yuan (585 U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters, according to the NDRC.
This being stated, experts see more challenges coming in the next year for China in terms of stable agricultural development and rural income increases as the international financial crisis deepened.
Market contraction both at home and abroad has driven down prices of agricultural products such as bean, corn and cotton. This raises concerns of decreased agricultural production and farmers' future income.
Shrinking international demand for Chinese products also forced domestic companies to cut or stop production, driving migrant workers back to their hometowns earlier than usual this year.
So far, statistics from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security showed 10 million or 10 percent of China's total 130 million migrant workers returned home jobless.
The country issued a series of measures to support rural development in the past two months. Farmers are being given subsidies to purchase home appliances, free training for laid off migrant workers is being offered and loans were supplied to help farmers start businesses.
All these policies would be reinforced at the conference, according to analysts.