chapter  12
30 Pages

Agricultural Development

WithChu-yuan Cheng

This chapter examines several major aspects of China’s agricultural development. It analyses the major policy changes in agriculture since 1949 and describes the performance of the agricultural sector in terms of output growth, structural changes, and productivity and analyzes the factors that affect agricultural production. The chapter discusses the essential features of the current modernization program and the outlook for China’s agricultural development. During the First Five-Year Plan, agriculture received only 7.6 percent of the state capital investment, as compared to 58 percent for industry and 19 percent for transportation and communication. As agriculture gradually recovered, the Party leadership debated two diametrically opposed views on how to organize rural economic activities so as to generate and sustain agricultural growth. The chapter considers three aspects of China’s agricultural progress: the growth rate for grains, industrial crops, and livestock between 1952 and 1979; changes in output structure; and the growth in productivity.