Left in the Dust

Published on Author barryp17

As a point of focus this semester, we have studied the life of a rural farmer in China in depth.  With an incredibly rapid turn of industrialization, the government has lifted millions of Chinese citizens out of crippling poverty, which left people dying of starvation due to a lack of means.  But at the same time, some citizens found themselves excluded from this upturn.  These neglected people are the farmers.

Many issues exist for these members of the agricultural industry: “land tenure rights are too short, deterring investment; limited access to credit for people who want to borrow to improve their farms; and farms are too small.” 

The migration of some people from rural areas to the city has left many small farms isolated without the possibility of combining forces, as was seen with many rural villages in the mid-to-late 21st century.  Stuck in the countryside, these farmers do not receive the benefits and amenities that one enjoys in an urban society.  The lack of health care and education possibilities does not bode well for the future of these rural farming societies.

At this point, the government must respond to help these people.  If policymakers can implement new plans, such as improved entitlement programs and health care possibilities coupled with training and education of these folk, the future of rural society will be improved.  As the OECD continues to emphasize, continued urbanization is necessary for growth.  But without action for these farmers, the rural economy will continue to falter.


2 Responses to Left in the Dust

  1. With rural migrants leaving behind small parcels, there seems great potential for land consolidation through leasing/tenure agreements. This allows the rural farmers to increase production and real income. It also assumes that the left-behind farmers are fit- not too-old, too-young or too-sick that could not migrate.

  2. Remember too that Hessler described areas that ought never have been farmed. As opportunities improve – synonymous with “as incomes rise” – much currently cultivated land ought to be abandoned!! It was only extreme poverty that led peasants to try to make a living in such places.