Authorities are suggesting that farmers tap the potential of "courtyard economy" to bolster their financial standing as torrential rains have hit many northern provinces in recent months, inundating grain fields and bringing new burdens to many vulnerable families.
The National Rural Revitalization Administration on Thursday published on its website a readout of a recent meeting convened by the agency's director Zhao Huanxin, who is also a vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs.
The readout said that those attending the meeting agreed that grassroots officials must make utmost efforts to stabilize the income of disaster-affected farmers. They also put forward a slew of measures including offering support to help them generate income from their courtyards as a self-saving strategy.
"The income of disaster-stricken populations must be shored up by all means," the readout said.
Most rural families live in home with a courtyard, which often has small parcels of land allowing families to grow their own food and rear livestock.
In addition to farming, the dwellers can engage in running homestays and making handicrafts for their own use and for trade within the community.
According to the readout, the meeting's participants also asked local authorities to help businesses with a sizable amount of financially strapped employees to overcome flood-induced disruptions and recover production, and recruit poor farmers in disaster-relief projects so that they can get paid.
Data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the size of courtyard economy has reached 1.4 trillion yuan ($191 billion), and income generated from relevant activities accounts for about one-fifth of per capital income in rural regions.