Symposium on Agriculture Extension, Agricultural Development and Rural Social Changes in Developing Countries Held
Created On : 2018-07-04    Views : 100

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On June 24-25, a symposium on Rural Revitalization and Scientific & Technological Support - Agriculture Extension, Agricultural Development and Rural Social Changes in Developing

Countries, was successfully held. The symposium was jointly sponsored by Shanghai Academyand the Institute of Sociology, CASS, and co-organized by Rural Environmental & Social Research Centre affiliated to the Institute of Sociology, CASS and the Agricultural Extension Office and Department of Sociology of Colorado State University and supported by Shanghai University. Li Youmei, First Vice President of Shanghai Academy and Lou Swanson, President of Colorado State University, gave speeches respectively.

In her speech, Li Youmei said that after 40 years of reform and opening up, China's urban-rural relationship has undergone profound changes, and the R&D and agriculture extension has become an important support for rural revitalization. The No.1 document of the CPC Central Committee this year proposed to: establish an agriculture and scientific and technological innovation alliance that: integrates production, education and research; deepens the transformation of scientific and technological achievements in agriculture and the reform of their popularization and application: gives full play to the supporting role of scientific and technological talents; and explores the development of an integrated mechanism for agriculture extension of public welfare or commercial nature.

Renowned experts and scholars from both China and the United States gathered in Shanghai Academy to carry out multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary exchanges and discussions around the topic of rural revitalization of common concern, and shared their respective scientific research results, which is of both practical and strategic significance.

The president of Colorado State University, Lou Swanson, said that Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Colorado State University will continue to work together in an orderly manner, hoping to build a bridge between China and the United States through various seminars in agriculture extension, agricultural technology and other aspects of exchanges.

In the form of keynote speeches and roundtable discussions, the participating experts carried out exchanges and discussions around six topics, including: agriculture extension; rural development, agriculture & food system; rural revitalization & poverty reduction in China; ecological compensation mechanism; social sustainability & community; and natural resource management & conservation.

Next, we select some of the topics to share representative views. 

Topic I: Agriculture extension 

Zhang Xiaojun from the China Rural Special Technology Association, CAST introduced the basic policy and system of agricultural extension and shared the basic situation of farmers’ cooperatives and farmer training sessions. 

Liu Jifang from the Agricultural Information Institute of the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), shared views from the perspective of the relationship between agricultural & rural informatization and rural revitalization, promoting the application of new generation information technology in rural revitalization, as well as the layout of CAAS in rural revitalization around the theme of boosting rural revitalization with agricultural and rural informatization.

Zhang Weifeng from the College of Resources and Environmental Science, China Agricultural University, introduced the function and development of small science and technology backyards. He said that the scientific and technological personnel of the Research Center for Resources, Environment and Food Security, CAAS have taken root at the grass-roots level, set up small science and technology backyards in rural areas, and worked with farmers. This model is not only of great significance to ensure the food security and ecological environment security in China and promote the transformation of China’s agriculture, but can also be widely used for reference in other developing countries dominated by small farmers.

Tao Zhonghu from Qianjiang Bureau of Aquatic Products in Hubei Province pointed out that shrimp-rice co-farming is a successful example of China's modern agriculture and should be vigorously promoted in the fight against poverty and the implementation of the strategy of rural revitalization. Meanwhile, the innovative development of shrimp-rice co-farming and other modes shall be conducted and experimental demonstration areas be set up to drive the development of the shrimp and rice industry. 

Li Baodong from Science and Technology Extension Centre of All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives expounded the importance of setting up the new development concept of “clear waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets” from the aspects of the environmental impact caused by improper application of chemical fertilizers, improvement of fertilization techniques to realize scientific and rational fertilization, and optimization of extension modes to promote green development. He pointed out that it is necessary to adapt to the new situation and new requirements of green development of agriculture, optimize the mode of production, change production habits and integrate agriculture extension systems and platforms, so as to help rural revitalization.

Topic II: Rural Development, Agricultural and Food Systems 

According to Michael Carolan from Colorado State University, in view of the growing urban-rural gap in the United States, a research team at Colorado State University is studying how urban food policy in Denver affects rural communities in Colorado. 

Chen Hangying from Northwest A&F University, through the investigation of 10 years' agricultural transformation in Wannanhe Town, identified that administrative power and industrial & commercial capital as external driving factors are the preconditions for the transformation of agriculture, while the internal driving force from farmers is the main driving force of agricultural transformation. In the process of specific transformation, the chance factor of tenant farmers played an important role as catalyst and bridge and contributed to the emergence of a unique path of agricultural transformation.

Sun Juanjuan from the Center for Coordination and Innovation of Food Safety Governance at Renmin University of China pointed out that the European Union promoted the policy and legislative reform for the development of high-quality agricultural products in mountainous areas from the bottom up, standardized "mountain food" from the top down, and thus guaranteed the informed choice of consumers and fair trade of mountain producers. In this process, social participation, system improvement and other experiences are worth learning by China.

On the basis of explaining the connotation of the concept of green development of agriculture systematically, Jin Shuqin from Rural Economic Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs shared the Green Development Index of China’s agriculture including such four evaluation dimensions as resource conservation, environmental friendliness, ecological protection and green supply (quality benefit) and 14 indicators, and preliminarily evaluated the agricultural development level of the whole country and the provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) in 2016. He suggested strengthening the monitoring of agricultural resources and the environment, publishing basic data in time, speeding up the summarization of the practical experience of Zhejiang and other places in green development of agriculture, and improving policy measures to promote green development of agriculture vigorously. 

Topic III: Rural Revitalization and Poverty Reduction in China 

Luo Kanglong of Jishou University said that rural revitalization is based on the historical and cultural aspects of rural settlements; the “nature landscape” and “human landscape” of the rural areas are the stage; the geographical space of the rural areas is the framework, and the community creativity Crafts and commodities are designed as props; the purpose of creating space, well-being management, creation industry, and deep cultivation of literature and history; and all the residents involved in the experience process as the main body.

Wang Xiaoyi from the Institute of Sociology, CASS, put forward four issues that need to be paid attention to in green poverty reduction: recognizing the multiple values of green products, improving the returns of green assets, perfecting the market of green products, and giving play to the role of small farmers.

Zhang Wenbo from the Institute of Sociology of CASS indicated that he took the overall cross-regional relocation policy for concentrated linked destitute area of rocky desertification of a province in western China as the research object, while focusing on the overall relocation of a village in the core hinterland of the area to study local rewriting, practical logic limit, and governance dilemmas of the ex situ poverty alleviation and relocation policy. 

Through preliminary research, it is found that the “overall regional” ex situ poverty alleviation and relocation policy has replaced the precise orientation and value foundation of the central ex situ relocation policy. That is, anti-poverty by relocating in other places, and policy adaptation challenges the legitimacy at the decision-making level, this not only poses inconsistencies between policy requirements and policy object expectations in some key interests, but also to some extent affects the current quality of life of the villagers. 

Jiang Pei from the Institute of Sociology, CASS put forward the concept of "endogenous governance of the rural environment" by combing the field investigation and relevant academic theories of Lijia Village in Zhejiang Province. The concept holds that rural environmental governance should embody the concept of "neutralizing education", give full play to the main role of farmers in environmental governance, and rural environmental governance should return to the main body of rural life.

Based on the regional context of rural and suburban areas, Feng Xiao from Beijing Forestry University explored the influence mechanism of young farmers' sense of entrepreneurial risk-bearing effectiveness on entrepreneurial behavior. Through empirical analysis, he believed that the sense of entrepreneurial risk-bearing effectiveness has a significant positive impact on young farmers’ entrepreneurial behavior; and also verified that entrepreneurial tendency and entrepreneurial feedback played an intermediary role between the sense of entrepreneurial risk-bearing effectiveness and entrepreneurial behavior of young farmers. 

Topic IV: Management and Conservation of Natural Resources

Du Fachun from Yunnan Agricultural University discussed the sharing and co-construction of Sanjiangyuan National Park in Qinghai Province. In his speech, he introduced the establishment background of Sanjiangyuan National Park, the challenges faced in the establishment of the National Park and shared the co-governance of multiple subjects. He stated briefly that the purpose of Sanjiangyuan National Nature Park is not to attract tourists, but to try to preserve and restore the natural ecology.

In addition, Qi Yingjun from College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of Peking University, Fan Mingming from the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, CASS and Zhang Qian from the Institute of Sociology, CASS exchanged views on the issues concerning ecological compensation mechanisms.

Lynn Hempel and Jeni Croce from Colorado State University, Hai Lijuan from Northwest A&F University and others discussed the issues related to social sustainability and community.

Pete Taylor and KuoRay Mao from Colorado State University, Pang Xiaopeng from Renmin University of China, Zhang Jieying from the Institute of Sociology, CASS, He Dingling from the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of Peking University and others exchanged views on the issues relating to the management and conservation of natural resources.