• Gov’t Announces Plan to Clean Up Rural Areas by 2020

    (Beijing) – China has announced a five-year target to clean up the garbage and agricultural and industrial waste in its rural areas because of the mounting environmental and health hazards they pose, an official from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development says.
    “Garbage disposal in the countryside was not a problem in the past because nature itself could absorb the impact,” said Wang Xudong, but now the waste “has severely polluted the soil and water in rural areas and has begun to affect the growth of crops.”
    The ministry and other government departments recently issued guidelines on how to handle garbage in rural areas and cleanup goals for the end of the decade.
    The plan addresses the disposal of household garbage – which by the ministry’s estimate totals more than 110 million tons every year, on par with what homes in cities produce – and for the first time sets out targets for the recycling and cutting down of waste materials from agricultural and industrial operations.
    The government wants more than 90 percent of household waste in all rural areas to be “effectively managed” by 2020, a goal that involves developing a financially sound and adequately supervised system that incorporates equipment, facilities and trained personnel.
    The plan also aims to have all waste from livestock utilized, recycle more than four-fifths of the plastic used to build greenhouses, and to decontaminate and dispose of more than 95 percent of industrial waste and hazardous materials.
    The guidelines also say rural areas should establish a garbage disposal mechanism modeled on that which has been tried out in several areas. Those pilots involve having garbage collected from villages, stored in towns and finally shipped to a county facility for recycling or burning.
    The ministry started dealing with the rural garbage problem in 2005, but its efforts have been undercut by the sporadic nature of cleanup campaigns.
    No long-term system for collecting and dispose of garbage has been devised, Wang said. Efforts to clean up rural areas often meant sweeping garbage off roads and into ditches or burying them in farmland, so “on the surface they looked clean, but in essence the problem was not solved at all.”
    Said Wang: “Before long, everything returned to the mess it was.”
    The cleanup efforts have also stalled because collecting and transporting waste is expensive, experts say.
    Also, many villages cannot get service from garbage trucks because their roads are too narrow, said Luan Shengji, an environmental professor at Peking University.
    That means the recent approach proposed by the government will succeed only in better-off villages, he said, and the proposal will fail in other areas without heavy government spending.
    (Rewritten by Wang Yuqian)

    #Chine #paysans #Pollution

  • Major farm reform on near horizon - Business - Chinadaily.com.cn

    In 30 years, about 85 percent of China’s supply of farm products will be provided by 7 percent of its labor force, said Zou Lixing, a research official with China Development Bank.

    By comparison, in the United States, virtually the whole country’s market of farm products is sustained by only 1.5 percent of its labor force, Zou said.

    For the past 2,000 years, small-plot farmers in China have provided the nation with most foods. As of 2014, there are 22 million farm workers in the country, according to government data, although some of them might have actually worked in cities.

    To facilitate the change, the coming Five-Year Plan calls for land management rights to be registered and duly protected by law-apart from land ownership rights-so that land can be used more efficiently.

    Before the agricultural reforms of the 1980s, farmland and farming operations were concentrated in people’s communes.

    Chen said the priority in the coming agricultural reform is to improve the system of property rights in rural China, with the necessary step of allowing highly skilled farmers to operate large farms and raise the country’s agricultural productivity.

    Chen’s remark followed proposals for the new Five-Year Plan that emerged from a top-level decision-making meeting last week.

    The coming reform will encourage farmers to contract out their land to more productive farm managers in various ways, either individually or in groups.

    It will encourage farmers to use their plots to set up joint-stock companies.

    Han Jun, deputy director of the office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, said the policies and incentives promoting large-scale agribusinesses will help attract more highly skilled people to become China’s future farm managers.

    One of China’s challenges now is the aging of its current generation of farmers and the lack of workers to take over their jobs, Han said.

    According to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 45 percent of the country’s population lived in rural areas last year, or nearly 600 million people.

    Dang Guoying, a specialist in agriculture and rural development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the new types of agribusinesses will enjoy economies of scale, delivering much higher output and earning greater profits than the traditional small-plot farmers.

    “Professional farm managers equipped with modern technologies and management methods will be the mainstay of the country’s agriculture in the future,” Dang said.

    #Chine #Paysans #Réforme_agraire

  • China migration: Dying for land - FT.com

    To the people, it looked like an invasion. For three years farmers in Fuyou village had been fighting the government-backed developer who turned their land into a giant construction site. Thugs circled after dark, threatening and sometimes beating the residents. Villagers armed with hoes and scythes had taken shifts guarding the entrance to their narrow streets.
    Now, truck after truck packed with men in hard hats labelled “police” and carrying long staves, electric prods and riot shields rolled down the highway. Relatives working in a nearby town say they called ahead to warn that the convoy was on its way. The villagers grabbed steel rods from the construction site, and waited.

    The two forces clashed on the wide roads between half-finished buildings under the bright southern sun in China’s Yunnan province — more than 2,000km from Beijing. The crowd overturned three silver Chevrolets. Small running battles left men bloodied and beaten on the ground.
    Villagers captured eight of the “police”, bound them with packing tape and plastic twine, and held them in the village function hall. On closer inspection, the outsiders had the same weathered peasant faces as the villagers. Their dark blue uniforms turned out to be ill-fitting security guard outfits pulled on over normal clothes. One woman called the real police repeatedly.
    Late in the afternoon with tensions high, the villagers dragged four of the hostages out to the road, bound them together with a red cloth banner, and splashed them with petrol, demanding that the other side withdraw. Instead, they surged forward.
    When the smoke cleared on October 14 last year, the charred and bloody bodies of the hostages lay still bound on the pavement. At least two villagers and two outsiders were found dead in nearby fields.
    “We had no choice but to defend ourselves,” says one villager who asks not to be named for fear of retaliation. “If we hadn’t killed them they would have killed more of ours.”
    The battle of Fuyou was remarkable for its savagery, but not for the fact that it happened. Land grabs are the top cause of unrest in the Chinese countryside and in the sprawling villages-turned-slums surrounding every city.
    Urban vs rural

    China’s rapid urbanisation has been driven primarily by the pull of higher wages in the city, and the opportunity to escape a life of back-breaking farm work. For three decades, cheap labour from the countryside has driven China’s “economic miracle”, as the nation’s premier, Li Keqiang, acknowledged in an address in March.

    #Chine, #Paysans, #Migrants

  • China’s rural dwellers embrace investing in the stock market - Global Times

    Liu Lianguo, a 50-year-old investor and retiree, is thinking about how he will manage his stock portfolio after losing some money over the last few weeks.

    He plans to closely follow the stock market and run his small fertilizer business simultaneously.

    Without any prior knowledge of the stock market, around 20 percent of Liu’s fellow villagers in Nanliu village in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province have invested their savings in stocks since 2006.

    Villagers like Liu have replaced their usual gossiping with discussions of major national policies, and have even given up on what was their favorite pastime, playing mahjong, so they can spend more time on their portfolios.

    Media reports have revealed several other stock-crazy villages, such as one in Dongyang county, Zhejiang Province.

    However, the stock market in China remains volatile after dramatically slumping on June 26.

    Villagers claim that they do not borrow money to invest in stocks and just use their savings, and that they make small profits. Liu said every investor in the village has made a profit.

    Despite the recent sharp falls in the nation’s two major indexes, many villagers have no intention of concluding their adventures in finance and exiting the stock market because they firmly believe that it will rally and grow again.

    Money in the market

    Nanliu village has a population of over 4,300 who have tilled the land for generations but now many people are seeking ways to make quick profit by “going to town.”

    A survey published by the National Bureau of Statistics in April shows that the total number of rural people who choose to do work in sectors other than agriculture had grown to 274 million by the end of 2014, up 1.9 percent on the previous year. Many are looking for ways to occupy themselves and earn money outside of the busy harvest period.

    Nanliu’s residents set their wits to work by recycling hair, waste, old mobile phones and TVs, a practice which first became a common way to make some extra cash in the 1970s.

    But when the first batch of villagers were introduced to the stock market in 2006, many of them started looking to supplement their income by investing, especially the male villagers aged from 35 to 60.

    After witnessing the long-sluggish market rapidly rising since 2014 and some villagers allegedly making a fortune, over 100 more villagers started buying stocks.

    Liu Yan, 27, the youngest investor in the village, said he entered the stock market last August, and his stock portfolio had doubled in value three weeks ago by the time the Shanghai Composite Index rose to above 5,000 points.

    He has since become a full-time investor. Previously he had been following in his father’s footsteps and running his own small recycling business.

    When stock prices continued to rise he decided that he should invest more.

    However, following the recent dip, Liu has decided he will use his money for other things.

    Many villagers didn’t know how to buy and sell the stock in the beginning, and they had to follow some experienced people when investing money into the market.

    Wang Li, a 52-year-old female farmer, said that she lost money in her first year in the market, but she invests only a little money in stocks because she sees investing in the stock market as something closer to entertainment than to a serious money-making enterprise.

    The villagers haven’t made fortunes overnight or enriched their family by speculating in the stock market, although it is rumored that one villager earned 600,000 yuan ($96,660) in a month.

    On the other hand, a villager who requested anonymity told the Global Times that he was too embarrassed to tell his neighbors that he had lost 200,000 yuan this year because he had invested all of his savings into the stock market before it dipped sharply.

    He is afraid the other villagers will look down on him if they find out, and he plans to silently quit the stock market.

    Better than mahjong

    Before the villagers became investors, it was common for them to sit around a table and play mahjong and talk about trivial matters.

    #Chine,#spéculation #Paysans

  • ’Left-Behind’ Children Need Our Attention Now

    The tragedy that saw four children in Bijie, a city in Guizhou Province, take their own lives has reopened a deep wound suffered by society amid rapid modernization. The incident prompted the local government to evaluate the conditions of other so-called left-behind children – youngsters left at home while parents go off to find work in cities – and raised public attention to their plight. These responses are necessary, but far from enough. It should not take such extreme problems for the government and public to pay more attention to these children and their families. Rather, they should be at the center of discussion when policies and reforms are considered.
    The tragedy is a reminder of the price we are paying for urbanization. Three years ago, five boys died in Bijie when they fell asleep in a large garbage container in which they had lit a fire. Surveys show that the country has about 61 million left-behind children and another 36 million who live with their migrant-worker parents in their adopted cities but do not enjoy the same public services, such as education and health care, as people holding local residence registration documents. This means nearly 100 million children – one in every three in the country – are living an insecure life. These youngsters and their families must be allowed to share in the benefits of the country’s great modernization, and their welfare must be improved because leaving them to suffer will destabilize the very foundation of China’s development. Governments at all levels have tried to address the problem, but their commitment pales compared to the passionate pursuit of GDP growth. For the great many rural families that have made significant contributions to the economy, government attention and support have been deplorable.
    A dual-track system unique to China – one separating cities from rural areas – is to blame for creating a huge number of left-behind children. Historically, most countries at our stage of development allowed families to move together. But the hundreds of millions of people who have moved from China’s countryside to urban areas in recent decades do not have the same access to public services as people born in cities; sometimes they even struggle to find shelter. Rural families seeking a better life are left with one of two choices, neither of them good: leave their children in the village where, hopefully, they will be cared for by relatives, or bring them along to their adopted cities to live as second-class citizens.
    Families are the basic units of a society. When they suffer, society suffers – and the consequences are grave. Much research has shown that left-behind children are more likely to suffer mental health problems, drop out of school and become estranged from their parents.

    #Chine, #paysans, #migrants

  • Les figures de migrants paysans en Chine

    Si l’on s’en tient aux informations distillées par les médias occidentaux, la Chine ne semble guère être confrontée à la « question migratoire ». Et pourtant… En 2014, la Chine compte 245 millions de migrants à l’intérieur de son territoire, du moins si l’on entend par « migrants » ceux qui ne vivent pas dans leur lieu de résidence enregistré. Ils représentent 17% de la population chinoise, et la grande majorité d’entre eux sont des paysans.


    #Géographie #Migrants #Migrations #Géographie_des_Migrations #Paysans #Paysans_Chinois #Chine #Géographie_Agricole #Géographie_Rurale #Géographie_Agraire #Espace_Rural #Population_Chinoise #Exode_Rural #Migration_Féminine #Femmes_et_Migrations #Femmes #Econmie_Urbaine #Exode_Agricole #Géographie_de_la_Chine

    http://seenthis.net/messages/367264 via Ville En Guerre