China unveils guidelines on prioritizing agricultural, rural development
Updated 14:40, 20-Feb-2019
China promulgated its "No.1 central document" for 2019 on Tuesday. It called for greater efforts to prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas, and seek progress in work relating to agriculture, rural areas and rural people.
This year's document highlights the need for rural development in view of the current economic downturn pressures, as well as the "profound changes in the external environment".
The document calls for stable grain production and increased imports of agricultural products in regions suffering from shortages. Crucially, it mentions the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as giving agricultural scientists greater ownership over their research results.
It also introduces ways to provide more public services, such as rural logistics network, e-commerce, and Internet connections, in rural areas. 
VCG Photo

VCG Photo

The "No. 1 central document" is the name traditionally given to the first policy statement released by the central authorities of the year, and is regarded as an indicator of policy priorities.
This is the 16th year in a row that the "No. 1 central document" has been devoted to agriculture, farmers and rural areas.
A boom in rural online business
Last June, Premier Li Keqiang said in a State Council executive meeting that the Internet Plus Agriculture model is critical for creating more jobs in the rural areas and raising farmers' income.
Villagers check the sales of their online shops, Yuexi County, Anqing City, Anhui Province. /VCG Photo

Villagers check the sales of their online shops, Yuexi County, Anqing City, Anhui Province. /VCG Photo

Villagers are eager to start their own online businesses by the help of Internet technology.
The online retail sales totaled 1.25 trillion yuan (about 182 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, according to Chinese agriculture and rural affair authority.
Indeed, farmers are more capable of managing their lands through internet-based production and smart agricultural operation. They can also run a shop online to sell their fresh products and better integrate themselves with the new era.
(Jin Yingqiao and Shang Jianglong also contributed to the story.)
CGTN Photo

CGTN Photo