chapter  5
20 Pages

Comparison of Agricultural Production Inputs in China and


Agriculture accounts for 9 to 12 per cent of China’s total fiscal expenditure. Labour engaged in the construction of farmland water conservation infrastructure contributed 54 per cent of the growth in gross value of agricultural output prior to reform in 1978. Capital inputs at the time were still lower than those made by technical inputs, which stood at 61.3 per cent; but the contribution to the value of agricultural output growth from capital and fertilizer increments reached 44.7 per cent and 53.7 per cent respectively between 1983 and 1987; increases in the multiple-cropping index added about 20 per cent (see Table 5.1). Subsequently, China has been making comprehensive, large-scale investments in water conservancy construction, fertilizer production and utilization, improvements in crop varieties and animal breeds, road transportation and market facility construction. Institutional reform alongside market liberalization has supported all these efforts. In contrast, owing to financial weakness and a comparative lack of macro-development strategies, the agricultural input of African nations accounted for only 5 per cent or so of their fiscal budgets. Added to this, these low budgets have been directed primarily at export-orientated economic crop production rather than food crops that play key roles in food security maintenance. The Chinese example demonstrates that fiscal support for farming and rural areas is the foundation for sustainable agricultural development.