Over the past two decades, China’s urban population growth has been higher than in the rest Asia or the world as a whole. Young people are migrating to cities, leaving the elderly and children back home on the farm. So as manufacturing and urban life took off, catapulting China to world-power status, rural China and farming lagged behind. Roughly 86% of farms in China were only 1.6 acres, a tiny fraction of the size of the average 441-acre US industrialized farm and most of the work on these small farms is done by hand by an increasingly elderly population of farmers who now average over 50 years old. But that is starting to change.
Land sales contribute significantly to local government financing in China as well as provincial GDP targets. But this is both unsustainable and problematic. A look at the situation and the kind of reform that needs to kick in. Last month, China launched a national audit of the “land-transferring fees” collected by local governments in the […]