MOA holds the launching ceremony of pilots on training of new-type professional farmers and a back-to-back seminar on December 14, 2012, in Bangbu city of Anhui province. Over 200 delegates from 100 pilot counties across the country attended the event. Vice Minister of Agriculture Zhang Taolin attended and addressed the launching ceremony.
In his speech, Vice Minister Zhang pointed out that fostering new-type professional farmers is a critical factor to agricultural and rural development, a strategic choice to guarantee long-term national food security, an essential support to faster modern agriculture, and a path towards farmers’ income increase. The central government has attached great importance to the undertaking, and provided specific requirements and guidance in CPC No.1 Document of 2012. The pilot work initiated by MOA will focus on building three systems, namely the education and training system, accreditation and administration measures, and the supportive policy, so as to define the objectives, tasks and approaches for the near future.
Zhang noted that fostering new-type professional farmers needs support and guidance, particularly needs a national institutional framework that links different components together. It is essential to make the full play of CABTS in the training of new-type professional farmers. CABTS is a well-established teaching institution of rich teaching experience and wide student coverage at grassroots levels. It would act as an important platform for new-type professional farmers. Local schools should continue their reform and innovations, improve staff capacity building and the use of multi-media resources in teaching, and pilot the training of new-type professional farmers. Existing projects might be integrated into the pilot, such as the Sunshine Project, Project of Skilled Farmers, and Project of Million Agricultural Vocational School Graduates.
Zhang called for concrete actions in the pilot implementation to ensure tangible results. First, local agricultural authorities should take the lead in developing the overall work plan, and make clear the objectives, tasks, phases, policies, measures, organization and administration matters. Besides, local governments should channel resources from other departments, including finance, land management, banking and insurance, and form a synergy. Second, local governments should earmark special funds to the pilot program, and encourage private sector for bigger funds. Third, pilot counties should explore a special path of new-type professional farmer training in accordance with their local features in terms of rural labor structure, economic development level and comparative advantages. Forth, a good environment for new-type professional farmers should be created so as to value farmers’ efforts in agricultural production and management and give full respect to their wish for decent work and decent life.
Actually, MOA issued a Work Plan on Pilot Training of New-type Professional Farmers in August 2012, specifying the philosophy, principles, objectives, tasks, size and pre-conditions. It is decided to pilot the training program in 100 counties out of 31 provinces (autonomous regions or municipalities), while each county will train 100,000 professional farmers within 3 years of pilot period specialized in 2 or 3 selected sectors.
Wang Shoucong, CABTS Executive Vice President chaired the Seminar, while Liu Tianjin, CABTS Vice President, and Professor Zhu Qizhen of China Agriculture University made key-note presentations on how to train professional farmers. Delegates from Bangbu city of Anhui province, Ankang city of Shaanxi province, Agriculture Department of Sichuan province, Longyan city of Fujian province, Xiayi county of Henan province also delivered presentations to share their views and success stories.