A Novel Approach to Improving Rural Finance and Increasing Farmers’ Income
China’s stunning economic growth since 1978 has resulted in a ten-fold increase in real GDP per capita, with an average annual growth rate of 8.6% in the past three decades (China Statistical Yearbook, 2008). However, urban incomes have continued to outstrip rural incomes – the per capita income ratio between urban and rural people widened to 3.3:1 in 2007 from 2.6:1 in 1978 (China Statistical Yearbook, 2008) – and the trend is a major concern for the government. A policy announced in 2004 to phase out agricultural taxes has not worked to reverse the income gap. Undoubtedly, this disappointing outcome calls for additional supporting measures for farmers.