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China's farmland goes to larger entities

2014-02-24 09:02 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

The use rights of 340 million mu (22.7 million hectares) of farmland had been transferred to larger farming entities as of the end of 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday.

The transferred land accounts for 26 percent of the farmland under "the household contract responsibility system", said Zhang Hongyu, a senior official of the ministry.

The transferred acreage tripled the size at the end of 2008, he added.

The use rights of the majority of China's collectively-owned farmland were split and allocated to farmers under the household contract responsibility system introduced in 1978, when the country started a sweeping rural reform ending communal farming.

To boost economy of scales and give more property rights to farmers, China's central authorities have vowed to support the transfer and mortgage of land-use rights.

Over 2.87 million farmers operated farmland larger than 50 mu, and more than 870,000 family farms had been established nationwide as of the end of last year, according to Zhang.

He said that the transfer of farmland went too fast in some areas, and need to be carried out more steadily.

Such transfer should always be based on the voluntary consent of the individual farmers, and the price and the way of transfer should also be decided by the farmers who own the land, Zhang said.

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