Photo taken on March 28, 2013 shows Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (C), also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visits the Tianniang family farm in Changshu City, east China's Jiangsu Province. Li had a research tour to Jiangsu and Shanghai from March 27 to March 29. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang has stressed the importance of developing modern agriculture and scale farming in his recent research tour to the Yangtze River Delta region.
While visiting a family farm in Changshu, east China's Jiangsu Province, Li was pleased to see local farmers have seen a boost in grain output and income as they merged their fragmented land through transfers to develop scale farming, which allowed the use of advanced technologies.
"To develop modern agriculture through the forms of joint partnership, family farms and farmer cooperatives is the big direction for China," Li said.
Li's remarks came amid China's growing efforts to speed up the transfer of rural land to improve efficiency and promote large-scale commercial farming.
Most rural land is owned collectively by a village, and farmers get contractual rights over some plots.
The central government said in its "No.1 document" for 2013, which has always focused on rural issues, it would guide the orderly transfers of contractual rights of rural lands, and encourage land contracts to flow to large-scale landholders, family farms or farmer' cooperatives to develop scale management.
The large-scale farming will improve land and labor efficiency and provide a firm support to the country's new type of urbanization, Li said, adding farmers' interests should be protected in the process.
During his three-day tour from March 27 to 29, Li also visits Xinqiao county in Jiangsu province, where he found people in the nearby rural areas have gathered there for jobs and settled down.
The small cities and counties play an important role in China urbanization initiative as they present job opportunities, Li said, while urging efforts to create and develop industries in such regions.
The tour also took Li to Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone and WuXi AppTec Inc, a leading global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device outsourcing company with operations in China and the United States.
After the visits, Li said China, with its massive domestic demand, should look to the world to attract more companies to settle here and push for "a new round of opening up."