Report on " Rural Technology Innovation Policy Research to Support Inclusive Development"
- poverty reduction approaches
- endogenous poverty alleviation
- vulnerable groups
- targeted poverty alleviation components
- supporting policies
Report on " Rural Technology Innovation Policy Research to Support Inclusive Development"
Title : Report on " Rural Technology Innovation Policy Research to Support Inclusive Development"
Commencement Date : Tue Mar 06 2018--
Implementing Agencies :
Support Organizations :
Members of The :
CASE PROVIDER :
Sources of Funds :
Catalogue and Index :
Abstract Summary :
Preface: Inclusive development is a strategic choice to realize new development on a global scale. The crux of inclusive development is agricultural, rural and farmer development, which is a vital issue China faces and a global strategic problem that bears upon global food security and global stable development. Technology innovation is the master key to speeding up agricultural and rural development, reducing poverty, and realizing the coordinated development of urban, rural, agricultural, industrial and commercial services. It is of great importance to formulate corresponding strategies and policies, and establish corresponding system mechanisms.
1. New opportunity for inclusive development
The tough task of speeding up transformation of economic and social development following the international financial crisis of 2008
The international financial crisis of 2008 that arose from the United States exerted a widespread and profound influence on the world economy and society. The crisis, caused by the overheated real estate industry and the financial industry in essence, made the investment income expectation far greater than the actual industry return and broke the balance of income and expenditure required by basic economic principles. This caused the interruption of the flow of capital, an immense damage to the normal development of the financial industry and the real estate industry, and a destructive impact on other industries as a result of modern industry, especially given the wide permeation of the trans- regional, cross-sector and transnational financial industry. The influence of the financial crisis on the real economy gave rise to serious unemployment and other social problems. The financial crisis intermingled with the trade and economic development imbalance, resources and energy shortage, food insecurity, poverty, population aging, unemployment, and sovereign debt problems already existing in the international community, which further amplified the negative impacts of the financial crisis. So far, the impact of the financial crisis is not over yet, and more effort is to be made concerning the stable growth of economic recovery and improvement of people’s livelihoods in countries around the world.
The moves toward global economic recovery and stable growth involve not only strengthening of adjustment and supervision of financial industry, but also global reflection of existing development modes, adjustment of economic structure, and exploration of new development modes, including strengthening technology innovation, developing strategic emerging industries, and vigorously developing the real economy in order to realize sustainable development at a higher level. China specified the transformation of the mode of economic development, the adjustment of the economic structure as the basic strategy of the 12th Five-Year Plan for the national economy and social development, which not only has an important significance for dealing with the financial crisis but also enables China to solve the problem al the stage of development in order to achieve long-term development. One can say that the financial crisis provides new opportunities and impetus for the transformation of the international economy. What differs from the past is that in the era of further globalization, joint and coordinated action of the international community is urgently needed to deal with the international financial crisis.
New challenge brought by global climate change
Responding to global climate change is the common challenge that countries in the world confront. The history of global responses to climate change is actually the history of scientific coordination of the relationship between development and the environment and the coordination of national responsibility and obligations in different stages of development. The actions responding to climate change has not yet achieved the expected achievements. In 1992, delegations from 183 countries and representatives from 70 international organizations of the United Nations and its subordinate institutions attended the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro. The conference passed the Agenda 21, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Statement of Forest Principles, Rio Declaration of Environment and Development and other important documents, which indicated that the response to global climate change had become a global consensus and that developed countries and developing countries were determined to take practical action to cope with global climate change. Twenty years later, the UN held the Rio +20 Summit, which focused on the role of the green economy in sustainable development and poverty reduction and the sustainable development framework. This reflects the urgency of global efforts to achieve sustainable develop ment.
A strategic measure in an effective response to global climate change is to transform the traditional economic development mode. The technology system was established on the basis of fossil energy as a result of the start of the Industrial Revolution during the second half of the 18th century, and completely changed the mode of the world economy and industrial development. Fossil energy and mechanical equipment have become the basic supports of the global economic development mode. This kind of mode of production with its great productivity created huge wealth for human beings, and led to a fundamental change to the relationship between economic industry and ecological resources, resulting in immense ecological destruction, environmental pollution and resource and energy consumption. The enormous fossil energy consumption caused massive greenhouse gas emissions. The increase of greenhouse gas emissions is the main cause of the earth’s rising temperature. For many years, the direct result of global climate change has been global climate anomalies and the increase of extreme climate disaster frequency. A change of the development mode that has a history of more than 200 years is a must for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the greatest degree and the efforts to realize green development and the harmony of economic industry and the environment.
In 1987, the report “Our Common Future”, issued by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development gave the definition of sustainable development: “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This definition has been widely recognized. Reviewing the world’s changes since the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, although all countries in the world put emphasis on sustainable development, it is clear that the result of 20 years of struggle is not what has been expected:
A. The current world population has reached more than 7 billion, up by 27% . West Asia, Africa and South America have the largest population. There is a more strained relation between man and nature.
B. The earth’s temperature has increased 4° C. Moreover, the decade of the earth’s highest temperature in history occurred after the year 1998.
C. Carbon dioxide emissions have reached 30 billion tons at present, compared with 22 billion tons in 1992.
D. The forest and tropical rainforest area has been reduced by 300 million hectares.
E. Currently, there are 21 megalopolises of more than 10 million people in the world, as against 10 in 1992.
F. The consumption of plastic, one of the pollutants that makes the most contribution to environmental pollution, has expanded from 149 million tons in 1992 to the current 265 million tons.
G. The world is still faced with widespread hunger and poverty. Since 1970, when there was a record hungry population, the global hungry population has reached 1 billion, with 98% in developing countries and the largest portion in the Asian-Pacific region and Africa. According to the UN’s 2010 Multidimensional Poverty Index, there are 1.7 billion people in global poverty at present.
These data show that problems concerning global sustainable development, population, poverty, resources and the environment have not yet come to a satisfactory solution, but are mounting. Solving such a series of major international issues has a direct bearing on global stability and sustainable development. Countries throughout the world must act more effectively to change the mode of economic growth; minimize resource consumption, ecological environment destruction and emissions of pollutants; and at the same lime look for new development models so as to realize coordination and tolerance of global economic and social development and nature.
New changes that have taken place in social development
Income imbalance is a global issue and has widened since the 2008 international financial crisis. According to calculations, the income of the 40% poorest in the world accounts for only 5% of the total income in the world; that of the 20% richest population accounts for 75% of the total revenue. The uneven distribution of wealth aggravates social contradictions, in particular, lack of full employment and high unemployment intensify social contradictions and social unrest in some countries. Strikes, social turmoil and social riots in some EU member states, such as Greece, Spain, France and other countries facing debt crises, are the direct result of ineffective economic development and serious unemployment. The vast income gap between urban and rural residents is the most outstanding problem in China’s income imbalance. In 2011, rural per capita net income was RMB 6,977, compared with urban per capita disposable income of RMB 21,810 in the same period in China.
The aging population brings new problems and has become increasingly serious in developed countries. Japan became an aging society in the 1970s, with more than 23% population over the age of 65. Things in Europe are similar. The aging of the population has a far-reaching influence on modern society, directly increasing social spending; aggravating national, family and social economic burdens; and reducing labor supply for economic activities. In EU countries, aging and high social welfare coexist, which, to a certain extent, further aggravates the government’s financial burden and adds structural problems to economic recovery growth.
Costs in modern social life continue to rise. The constant improvement of living standards means that living costs are on the rise. Practicing thrift as is traditional is becoming more and more a thing of the past with each passing day. With the development of science and technology, there is continued progress, and the level of industrial technology is unceasingly climbing, which requires people to master more knowledge. The number of people receiving education is on the increase and the time to receive education and training is extending. This increases both personal and social costs.
Population flow is a prominent issue. In countries around the world, due to the imbalance of economic development and different living levels, cross-region population flow is an economic problem as well as a social problem. In 2011, the number of Chinese migrant workers reached 250 million, with outgoing migrant workers numbering up to 130 million, which reflects the imbalance of urban and rural employment, income and living standards. Worldwide population flow, especially immigration, has become a complex and important international economic and social issue. Population tends to flow from undeveloped countries with lower living standards to more developed countries with higher living standards.
To sum up, in the face of current challenges and future development, and in an era of globalization, development gaps between countries are still tremendous, cultural diversity of different countries still exists, and strategies and measures are adopted by countries in different development stages to develop their own economy and society. Hence, realizing new sustainable and stable development requires establishment of an effective, coordinated and inclusive system with social and economic dimensions. Also needed is an arrangement of mechanisms between countries, between people and between nature and the economy. This needs the efforts of developing countries and more efforts of developed countries. In exploring new development modes, developed and developing countries are faced with common tasks. To build a harmonious, stable and happy society, under the circumstances of globalization and multiculturalism, countries must establish an inclusive system and arrangement of mechanisms between different strata and groups, and between different social members.
2. Rural development as the basic issue of inclusive development
Historical origins and connotation of inclusive development
In 2007, the Asian Development Bank first put forward the concept of “inclusive growth”. Effective inclusive growth strategy needs to focus on creating high growth of productive jobs, ensure social inclusiveness of equal opportunities, reduce risks and bring vulnerable groups a social safety net to cushion them from the hard realities of life. What it seeks is coordinated development of society and the economy, along with sustainable development, rather than the pursuit of pure economic growth. “Inclusiveness” is also one of the concepts proposed in the UN Millennium Development Goals. On April 15, 2011, President Hu Jintao in Boao Forum for Asia, delivered the keynote speech “Inclusive Development: Common Agenda and New Challenges”. This speech stressed that the purpose of inclusive development is to make the interests and benefits of globalization and regional economic integration benefit all countries, and to make the benefits and wealth of economic growth accrue to all people, especially vulnerable groups and less developed countries. When it comes to growth, this is generally understood as economic growth; when it comes to development, coverage then expands to social areas, including economic and social development and the relationship between man and nature. So it has a broader meaning.
The inclusive development concept was put forward in view of the reality of the world’s current economic and social development, and in view of the prominent issue of human development. From the perspective of international relations, after the end of the Cold War, the world economy saw longterm stable development. In particular, globalization led to in-depth development; enormous profits for developed countries; significant improvement in economic strength for developing countries, especially emerging countries; and profound contrasts in international economic strength and the relationship between rights and interests. The contrasts in economic strength were impacted by the international economic system and operation mechanisms formed since the end of World War II. The urgent problem facing the world is whether human society following the two costly World Wars has enough wisdom and ability to find a peaceful and harmonious way to achieve new common development on the basis of identity differences and rational acceptance of changes.
In terms of the relationship between man and nature, the world population continues mushrooming. So the economic and social development mode with the support of fossil energy and natural resources at the cost of environmental pollution and even destruction is hard to carry on. The world has reached a consensus on this. The increase of greenhouse gas emissions, continuous increase of the earth’s temperature and extreme climate disasters of increasing frequency indicate the urgency of the need for the world to jointly take positive actions to save energy and reduce emissions for the pursuit and realization of green development, harmony and tolerance between man and nature.
From the point of view of social development, different countries are faced with a number of outstanding social issues: for example, the issue of widespread and further expanded wealth inequalities and poverty in the wake of the international financial crisis; the issue of employment difficulty and high unemployment; the serious “three-dimensional rural issues” in developing countries; the issue of food security; the issue of aging populations prevalent in developed countries; the issue that high welfare exceeds economic supporting capacity in some developed countries; and so on. In the U nited States, the largest economy in the world, the top 1 % of the rich has more than 40% of total assets, and the other 80% of the population has only 17% of the wealth, which is the most unequal distribution of wealth since the 1920s. In 2010, the population below the poverty line in the United States reached 46. 2 million, the highest in 52 years. The world was faced with the challenge of social problems constantly accumulated in the course of long-term development in addition to new problems. Likewise, China witnessed a substantial increase of the living standards of the whole society, as well as significant improvement of social security and social services, on the one hand, and the great enlargement of income distribution among social strata, industries, and regions, on the other hand. There has also been a radical enlargement of the gap between possession of resources or use rights and interests of different members of society. In accordance with the poverty line of RMB 2300, there is still a population of 128 million people below the poverty line in China. The living standard of farmers is low, and the rural Gini coefficient is close to the international warning line. The widening gap between farmers and urban inhabitants is a typical embodiment of the unequal distribution of income. We are facing the conditions of the large gap between people, uneven use of resources and many social contradictions to maintain social stability so as to meet the challenge of new development.
Currently, humans are facing major issues on the way to pursuing development and a better life. Nowhere in the world is there an eternal solution to any issue. In fact, these issues are often development-caused or accumulated issues. Development-caused issues can only be addressed by means of development. This is the historical origin of inclusive development. That is to say, the inclusive concept and methods should be used to realize inclusiveness between countries for development, realize inclusiveness between man and nature, and realize social inclusiveness to reach new development. This is also a strategic way to achieve sustainable development in the present time.
"Three-dimensional rural issues" of the world
The essence of the agriculture - countryside - farmer problem concerns the issues concerning the development imbalance between agriculture and non-agriculture, the rural and the urban, farmers and citizens, and the relative disadvantages of agriculture, the countryside and farmers.
China is undergoing rapid industrialization and urbanization. The agriculture - countryside - farmer problem looms large. Agriculture is a typical disadvantaged industry. In 2011, the added value of the primary industry in China was RMB 4.7712 trillion, accounting for 10.1% of GDP. It employed about 300 million people, occupying 35% of the total, and the level of agricultural mechanization reached 54. 5% . It can be seen that agriculture in China is still a disadvantaged industry of lower productivity, greater intensity of labor and higher risk. The sci-tech quality of the population in agricultural employment is significantly lower than that of non-agricultural personnel, and the average age of agricultural workers is obviously higher than that of non-agricultural personnel, in 201!, the urbanization level in China reached 51. 27% , with an urbanized population of 691 million, so China has entered the era of urban society. But still 657 million of the rural population live in about 41,000 townships and 620, 000 administrative villages. Although the rural population is smaller than the urban population, in rural areas, where there are fewer employment opportunities, the employed population accounts for 53% of the total, more than in urban areas, where there are more employment opportunities. The problem of the urban-rural dual structure is still mounting. Compared with urban communities, the degree of rural community modernization is significantly lower. The quality of life, living environment, development opportunities and public services is far behind that in the cities. As rural reform lags behind urban reform, the process of reforming rural land resources, water resources, real estate and infrastructure marketization is relatively slow, and the attraction of rural areas for elements of modern economic and social development is obviously not enough. Corresponding to urban rapid development, the rural development situation is very serious. Farmers form a relatively disadvantaged group in China. Their income level is far below that of urban residents, and public services and development opportunities available to them are also much lower than in the cities. In 2011, farmers’ per capita net income was RMB 6977, and the rural: urban per capita disposable income ratio was 1: 3. 23. The task of realizing relative equilibrium and stable growth of urban and rural residents’ income is arduous.
In general, developing countries leave the issue of agriculture, farmers and the countryside more outstanding, which is a common phenomenon in the process of economic and social industrialization and urbanization. In developed countries, the problem of agriculture, the countryside and farmers is also an important economic, social and political issue. Agricultural subsidies prevailing in developed countries reflect the agricultural market’s shortage of competitive power. Although developed countries have generally realized agricultural modernization, the agricultural mode of seasonal production management, which is highly sensitive to nature, has not yet been completely revolutionized. In the present age, science and technology are rapidly making progress; industry, especially new and high-technology industry, is also booming; efficiency in wealth creation is rising all the time; and there is an abundant variety of city life and development opportunities. This presents a new challenge to the construction and development of rural communities.
"Three-dimensional rural issues" are strategic for China to realize inclusive development
Inclusive development requires the following steps: realize coordination and fairness between economy and society, man and nature, and different social strata and countries in the process of development; benefit different parties, especially socially vulnerable groups; embody the concepts of fairness, justice, equal opportunity for all, etc. ; choose inclusive development strategies that are in line with China’s present situation; choose strategies that are significant to a series of current major issues; adopt strategic measures for innovative ideas; and be committed to the realization of sustainable development.
China, having undergone more than 30 years of rapid development since reform and opening up, has entered the key period of a comprehensively well-off society. According to the data of the International Monetary Fund, in 2011, when its per capita GDP reached US $ 5,414 US dollars and it ranked 90th in the world, China became an upper middle-income country (UMIC). It is a difficult process to leap from a middle-income country to a high-income country, which will involve stepping across the “middle-income trap”. According to the general practice of international development, if per capita GDP is below US $ 1, 000, the economy will experience a development “trap” for entering the take-off stage, in which per capita GDP is US$ 3,000 - US $ 1,000. More and more various social and economic contradictions are formed in the course of long-term development and they start to heal up. To realize the new development of US $ 10, 000 - US $ 3, 000 per capita GDP, a country not only has to solve the existing contradictions, but also has to complete the onerous task of structural adjustment and development mode transformation. China has entered a transitional stage of development from a UMIC to a high-income country. Compared with the development situation 30 years ago, great changes have taken place in the domestic situation, development task, development target, development restriction, and external development environment China is faced with. In an age of globalization, a favorable and peaceful international environment is required to realize new development to promote inclusive development among countries. At home, there exists an obvious wealth distribution gap and development imbalance between different social strata, social members, industries and regions. This reality has to be faced to realize inclusive development by observing principles such as social fairness, justice, and equal opportunity through system and mechanism innovation. In the process of development, we need to focus on energy conservation and emission reduction, continue to introduce foreign advanced technology, and at the same lime, strengthen independent innovation, speed up transformation of the economic development mode, and strive to realize green development and inclusive development between economy and society, and man and nature.
The main challenge of realizing inclusive development in the national economy and social development is the development issue concerning agriculture, the countryside and farmers. The crux and the emphasis of inclusive development lie in weak agriculture, large-scale and backward rural areas, and numerous disadvantaged farmers. The biggest imbalance in China is the imbalance between agriculture and non-agriculture, the countryside and cities, and farmers and others citizens. The relationship between them is still the most important relationship in the national economy and social development. The most onerous task to build a well-off society in an all-around way is to build a comprehensively well-off society in rural areas.
3. Strengthening technology innovation, speeding up rural development, and promoting inclusive development
The crux of inclusive development is the development of agriculture, the countryside and farmers. As the development of non-agriculture, cities and urban citizens is advancing at a great speed under superior conditions and from a higher starting point, inclusive development relies solely on breakthroughs in system and mechanism innovation to realize the rapid development of agriculture, the countryside and farmers, as well as realize the inclusive development of agriculture and nonagriculture, countryside and cities, and farmers and urban citizens, by gradually narrowing the gap.
Innovation-oriented rural development as the strategic choice of path to speed up rural development and promote inclusive development
The primary task of rural development is to develop agriculture. What is essential to realize development that is inclusive of agricultural and non-agricultural elements is not to limit non- agricultural development, but to speed up agricultural development. It is difficult for traditional agriculture to create the labor productivity that can match non-agriculture. Its seasonal production mode and sensitivity to natural risks, as well as natural features of scale expansion and lower profitability, give rise to the adverse position of agricultural development in attracting talent, technology, investment, and other aspects that are very important to industrial development. The ultimate way to speed up agricultural development is to carry out a strategic adjustment to the agricultural structure and development mode; accelerate science, technology, talent and investment towards agriculture; construct the system of the modern agriculture industry; develop modern industry chains in agriculture; make agriculture a profitable and competitive modern industry that is attractive to modem industry elements; and gradually narrow the gap between agriculture and non-agriculture. To attain such a goal, an innovative road is a must for agricultural development. The practice of the countries that boast the most developed modern agriculture, such as the United States, Israel, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, etc. shows that the injection of modem elements can bring about a complete transformation of traditional agriculture into an international and competitive modern industry. Chinese agriculture is typical of the industry’s natural resources shortage and lower technology level and marketization, so China, a country with a large population, must rely on its own efforts to solve the problem of food security. Therefore, the development of Chinese agriculture can only depend on scientific and technological innovation, lightened shortage of natural resources, under the guidance of the government, and introduction of technology innovation in leading non-natural resources to agricultural industrial chains. This would offer agriculture the same opportunity of competition and development as non-agriculture so as to achieve a remarkable rise in agricultural labor productivity.
Rural areas should develop in an all-around way, involving modern industry, modern rural communities, and construction of harmonious rural communities. At present, the urbanization level of China is 51. 3% , corresponding to the average level in the world. The urbanization level of developed countries is generally over 70%. According to China’s national conditions, the urbanization level has reached 70%, but there are still more than 400 million farmers in China. Today, nearly 700 million farmers live in about 620, 000 administrative villages in China. To build a well-off society in an all- around way and realize modernization will of course include the vast rural areas that have an enormous population and are widely distributed. A practical way out is to build modern rural communities to present modem life for residents. Given the condition of the large disparity between urban and rural development levels and natural flow of resources and elements to cities, it is necessary to explore a new path of development to quicken rural development. Innovation is an inevitable choice. Compared with urban development, for a long time, rural areas in China have tended to be understood as places ol residence, with relevant policies existing far below the community development and management level. Urban development reform in China, and the corresponding laws, regulations and policies, is far beyond that of rural areas. In terms of economic development policy, the countryside lags far behind the cities. For example, in the vast rural areas in China, the markedzation of natural resources like land, real estate, and public facility construction and operation is extremely low, and property rights development lags behind seriously. Cities and the countryside are still poles apart, a typical urban-rural dual structure. First of all, the same development opportunity as in the cities should be given to rural areas to speed up the development of rural areas. With urban-rural integration, scientific ideas and methods can promote reform and opening up, break through law and policy barriers, guide modern economic and social development elements to flow to rural areas, and speed up the narrowing of the gap between urban and rural areas to realize inclusive development.
The issue concerning farmers is essentially the gap with urban citizens. Human development is the foundation of all development. In China, human development involves the development of both urban citizens and farmers. In the crucial period China began to build a well-off society in an all- around way, in the transitional period it will move from a UMIC to a high-income country, and in the rapid development period of industrialization and urbanization, solving the issue of farmers1 development has become an unavoidable and significant problem. The development of farmers requires solutions to farmers’ employment, medical treatment, public services, education, training and other issues, which involve providing and supporting human development opportunities. According to the requirements of urban-rural integration, we should first of all make sure that farmers and urban citizens have the same development opportunities. Systems related to farmers’ management and services should also be included in the reform to break the dual urban-rural structure to realize urban-rural integration. Problems concerning rural migrant workers, actually the result of the dual structure, result from city management more than from rural management. The enormous difference between urbanites and farmers must be given priority to so as to realize inclusive development and speed up rural development.
Major tasks of rural technology innovations
The major tasks of technology innovations must be formulated according to the present national conditions and serious challenges confronted in present development. Technology innovation is regarded as a strategic route to speed up the development of agriculture, rural areas and farmers, and to realize inclusive development.
Strengthen technology research on agriculture and the countryside
The first step is to strengthen basic research on construction and development related to modern agriculture, the rural economy, rural society, and rural communities. The particularities of agriculture, the countryside and farmers in China determine several basic issues and theoretical issues, which require our further research. What is worth paying attention to is that more research has been conducted on agricultural production rather than on agricultural industrial chains, especially on agricultural product innovation, logistics, marketing management, etc. The long-standing pattern of the during-production areas being the focus of research must be adjusted.
The material foundation of rural development is the rural economy, the support of which is rural industry. Moving beyond the limitations on understanding of traditional agricultural economy is the first imperative. Seen from the height of urban-rural economic integration, it is necessary to make a comprehensive study on the development of the rural economy, and especially to break the dual structure barriers to urban and rural governance; create an environment of equality of opportunity, guided by the government and with the power of innovation; appropriately promote elements of the countryside; accelerate the development of the rural economy; and give priority to the construction of modem rural communities.
Rural communities are important carriers of Chinese traditional culture, and the construction of a modern country needs to have modern social management. Rural society is the crux. Carrying out research on rural communities has important theoretical significance and scientific significance for the construction of modem rural communities.
The second step is to implement technology innovation research. Reliance on technology innovation is needed to usher in and support rural industry, economic development, community construction and social management. Science serves the economy and society through products and supporting technologies. Technology innovation serves inclusive development. What is most important is to make a breakthrough on product creation and related production or business technology. A breakthrough in products and supporting technology makes it possible for technology to link enterprises, and benefit from the actual strength of technological progress.
Strengthen the commercialization and industrialization of agricultural and rural technological achievements
The first task is to attach great importance to commercialization of agricultural and rural technological achievements. Agriculture and the countryside have strong regional characteristics. Compared with general industrial technological achievements, pre-production tests, regional tests and enhancement of agricultural and rural technological achievements are more important. The commercialization of agricultural and rural technological achievements is an indispensable link as well as a currently weak link. To strengthen agricultural and rural technology innovation, commercialization of technological achievements must be enhanced.
Secondly, it is necessary to promote industrialization of technological achievements on the basis of strengthening intellectual property protection in agriculture. Agricultural intellectual property protection and management is a weak link of the present technology innovation. Due to the weakness of agriculture and the importance of food security, for a long time agriculture has been the focus of the government, so a series of protection and supporting measures has been adopted. Agricultural public benefits have been widely approved by the society, which, to a certain extent, weakens the marketability of agriculture. Fundamentally, we must give play to the role of markets and enterprises to develop modem agriculture. Without markets, there would be no modem agriculture industries. To have the function of technology innovation, develop modern agriculture and construct rural community is to recognize and protect intellectual property rights. Only technological achievements recognized as protected properly can be connected with investment and markets to realize the positive development of industrialization. Effective protcclion of intellectual properly rights can mobilize the enthusiasm of enterprises to carry out technology innovation.
Strengthen agricultural and rural technology promotion and technological knowledge popularization
The extent of agricultural organization in China is relatively low, the land scale is small and the level of market development is low, which keeps more than 200 million farmers in the status of producers instead of economic legal persons. Farmers ’ production activities are an important foundation of agriculture. It is therefore necessary to provide good technological service to farmers, which will benefit agriculture and the public good, and strengthen socially beneficial agriculture and rural technology promotion. China has set up an agricultural technology promotion system covering rural areas nationwide to bear the main responsibilities for technology promotion of public benefit. The challenge is to establish and perfect dynamic operation mechanisms to meet the needs of modem agricultural development and rural communities.
Popularization of rural technology knowledge is a source of public benefit that needs to be maintained, and an important move to improve the level of technological culture of rural communities. Compared with cities, there are fewer channels for rural areas to attain knowledge and the amount of knowledge is limited. Popularization and work related to rural technology knowledge are relatively weak. Farmers and urbanites have unequal access to knowledge, which plays a basic role in the realization of inclusive development. Therefore, effective measures should be taken to enlarge the popularization of rural technology knowledge and change its weak situation.
Strengthen agricultural and rural innovation in construction ability
Agricultural and rural innovation in construction ability is an important component of national innovation in construction ability, and the basis to implement the strategy of relying on technology innovation and speeding up agriculture and countryside development.
The first step is to continue to strengthen basic agricultural and rural research on construction ability with university and scientific research institutes as the focus, and to insist on carrying out basic research on agriculture and countryside issues.
The second step is to concentrate agricultural and rural innovation in construction ability on cultivation and improvement of enterprises promoting technology innovation. Enterprises have become the main part of agricultural product markets and rural construction, and the main force of agriculture and countryside industries. But the universal phenomenon is that enterprises’ technology innovation in agriculture is weak, and there is a widespread lack of research and development (R&D) institutions. Implementation of technology innovation strategy cannot do without enterprises’ technology innovation and construction ability. This can assist qualified enterprises to establish and improve their own R&D institutions, build reasonably structured R&D teams, and increase R&D investment. For smaller-scale enterprises, agencies should promote the integration of enterprises, universities and research institutes, and strengthen technical services of universities and scientific research institutions. Enterprises should be pushed forward to blaze a path of their own innovation-driven development.
Talent is the most important task to strengthen the agricultural and rural innovation in construction ability. Agencies should strengthen the construction of talent teams, including a large number of professional and technical talents, agricultural entrepreneurs, and experts in rural construction and management. To a certain extent, entrepreneurs and management experts are more important, for they are strategic talents that put science and technology, land, labor, investment and other elements together, as well as establish enterprises, develop modern industry, and manage and serve modem rural community.
Agricultural and countryside entrepreneurship is a strategic task
There are major obstacles that stand in the way of rural economic and social development: low- level agricultural industrialization, underdeveloped rural industry, fewer employment opportunities and heavy employment tasks. To solve these problems, technology entrepreneurship in agriculture and the countryside has to be promoted. In developed countries, to start a business, without exception, is a great event that concerns the government and the society. Since the reform and opening up, and especially since China began market economy construction, entrepreneurship work has also gradually received attention. In terms of geography, entrepreneurship work is mainly centralized in urban areas. At presenl, there are about 250 million rural migrant workers in China, and a large number of people not in full employment in the countryside. As for the enormous rural employment population, it is undesirable to merely adopt a strategy applied for urban employment. A proper solution to this is overall urban and rural development, to create the appropriate conditions, expand employment, and attract the rural population into the city. The aim is for rural people to become urban residents on the one hand, to start and strengthen rural entrepreneurship in the vast rural areas, and to open up new channels and new space for farmers to lake on local employment on the other hand.
To start and strengthen rural entrepreneurship has strategic significance in agriculture and countryside development in China. On the one hand, launching rural entrepreneurship will give a strong impetus to the adjustment of the agriculture and countryside development concept. Rural entrepreneurship work aims at the prominent issue that priority is given to the urban flow of Chinese industrial development elements, while the countryside, which lags behind and is in urgent need of element inputs, still plays the role of “rural support to city”. It is therefore necessary to pool talents, science and technology and investment in rural areas with the support for starting businesses. The government should remove the obstacles to rural economic development left by the history of the “dual urban - rural structure”. On the other hand, the government should give full play to the role of market mechanisms to promote agriculture and countryside economic development. The government should give aid to agriculture and countryside development and, at the same time, according to the system of urban - rural integration and policy arrangements, give full play to the regulating role of market mechanisms, facilitate the flow of industrial elements to rural areas, and provide a good and healthy development environment for rural industry and economic development. It is necessary to change the situation that market mechanisms fail to work properly in the development of rural areas.
A typical case: the Ministry of Science and Technology launched in 2002 the pilot work of rural technology correspondents, a career program that combines entrepreneurial talents, investment, rural natural resources, markets, information and other industrial development elements according to market mechanisms, to initiate benefits for communities in cooperation with farmers in the countryside and to develop rural industry. Entrepreneurial talents are various, involving circulation of agricultural products, agricultural product processing, scientific and technological personnel or management talents. Most important are creative abilities. The benefited community can be an enterprise, a cooperative or an association. It is in essence a legal person or economic entity for benefit sharing and risk sharing. By 2011, there had been 170,000 technology correspondents nationwide, more than 8, 300 enterprises started due to their entrepreneurial activities, more than RMB 4 billion of bank loans absorbed, and about 50 million farmer households participating in entrepreneurship, which has made a significant contribution to the development of rural industry.
Global economic and social development has reached a stage of facing the formidable task of economic recovery growth in the wake of the 2008 international financial crisis and the serious challenge of answering global climate change, reducing poverty and developing the green economy. On the densely populated planet, the adoption of inclusive development strategy is a strategic choice of seeking common ground while preserving differences, common development, peaceful development, and harmonious development. The agriculture, countryside and farmer issue is the major issue for the development of China, and the basic issue that must be well resolved to build an overall well-off society. Similar issues extensively exist in developing countries, and the “three-dimensional rural issues” still exist in developed countries. The issue of poverty is closely related to “three-dimensional rural issues”. In the case of China, the key to realize inclusive development is to realize the inclusive development between agriculture and non-agriculture, cities and the countryside, and farmers and urbanites. An important measure is to speed up the development of agriculture, the countryside and farmers by means of technology innovation. Adjustment and arrangement of systems and mechanisms are required to implement inclusive development strategy so that the idea of inclusive development can be turned into practical action.
Formulate rural technology innovation strategy for inclusive development
The agriculture, countryside and farmer issue is a global problem concerning national economy and social development. Technology innovation is a strategic measure to transform the development mode, accelerate development and guide structural adjustment. For such a strategic action, at the national level, it is necessary to formulate a rural technology innovation strategy of inclusive development. Such a development strategy involves agricultural development, rural community construction and management, farmer development, rural income distribution, poverty alleviation, public services, ecological construction, urban-rural integration system reform and innovation and other in-depth issues. Through strategy formulation, it is necessary to arrive at a common understanding in government and all walks of life; clarify development goals and important tasks; institute major measures; form strategic plans; make innovation a leading element to speed up the development of agriculture, the countryside and farmers; and realize inclusive development between agriculture and non-agriculture, the countryside and cities, and farmers and urban citizens.
Innovate agriculture-countryside-farmer development systems
Institutions can provide basic guarantees of inclusive development. The first category comprises the institutions to guarantee urban-rural integration development and break down the “dual urban-rural structure” institutionally. They can split national communities into two parts, urban and rural areas, and direct management in accordance with a unified system to realize urban and rural unified management. The second group is made up of the institutions working for farmers and urban citizens to have equal opportunities of development, balancing urban and rural development, and facilitating equal opportunities in terms of employment, public services, education, medical care and other fields. The imbalance of farmers and urban citizens in terms of assets is an important aspect of development opportunity differences between farmers and urbanites. In vast rural areas, the current land use policies put farmers in an extremely unfavorable status. Reform should be carried out as soon as possible. The third group of institutions can realize integration in terms of industrial development environment. The key to reform is to establish in the countryside the basic position of market mechanisms to configure industrial development elements and break through the bottleneck of rural property, especially land capitalization, to realize the free flow of urban and rural industrial development elements. This is also the key to guide investment, science and technology and other modern industrial development elements into the countryside and to accelerate the development of agriculture and the countryside.
Formulate policies to support rural innovations and entrepreneurship
The first task is to improve policies to support rural innovations, including policies to increase agricultural technology R&D, transformation, promotion and investment, and policies to improve agricultural technology innovation abilities. The issue that enterprises are weak at technology innovation should be highlighted in policy design, which is also still weak. Industry enterprises should rely on technology innovation to realize the development of enterprises. In this sense, there should be policies to encourage and support enterprise technology innovation. The second task is to make policies to support rural entrepreneurship. As there is an immense difference between the rural development environment and urban development environment, and rural development conditions are poor, the government is required to adopt financial and taxation policies, pertinent rural business financial policies, and policies guiding social capital investment so as to reduce rural businesses’ costs and risks, as well as encourage, support and serve rural businesses. Deepening reform is required to