Agricultural modernization in 2018 is top of central rural work conference agenda
The strategy of revitalizing the countryside through agricultural modernization and rural area reform will be on the top of the agenda at Central Rural Work Conference, which started in Beijing on Dec. 28.
The conference will map out plans for China's agricultural development in 2018 and beyond.
In the report to the 19th CPC National Congress, it highlights that agricultural modernization has steadily advanced, and annual grain production has reached 600 million metric tons. 
“Issues relating to agriculture, rural areas, and rural people are fundamental to China as they directly concern our country’s stability and our people’s wellbeing,” Xi Jinping, General Secretary to the CPC Central Committee, said.
The level of urbanization has risen by an annual average of 1.2 percent.
According to a guideline released by the State Council in September, China will give priority to ecological and environmental protection, while developing agricultural projects.
"In the past, we did not invest enough in pollution prevention and control in rural areas. But the situation has improved in the past five years," Yang Weimin, deputy head of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, said during the congress.
Harvest in Nantong, Jiangsu Province in December 2017. / VCG Photo

Harvest in Nantong, Jiangsu Province in December 2017. / VCG Photo

The rural environment will keep improving and the supply of green and safe products will see a major improvement by 2030.
“Addressing these issues should have a central place on the work agenda of the Party, and we must prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas,” Xi added.
The coming year is the final year of a pilot program that allows farmers in selected areas to mortgage their land use rights and housing property rights. 
The Central Economic Work Conference also said China's countryside will be a battlefield for two major goals: The alleviation of poverty and the reduction of pollution.
"I believe that in the future, equal importance will be given to environmental improvement in urban and rural areas," Yang said.