With secure land rights, Mr. Shi Xianshui a 57-year-old farmer from Sichuan Province had the confidence to begin investing in his family farm. He’s planted loquat trees on his one acre. Loquat trees, like many fruit trees, don’t produce fruit for the first few years. Under China’s previous land management system, village cadres reassigned plots as often as once a year, dissuading farmers from considering any long-term investment (like fruit trees).
But with recent reforms, informed by Landesa’s research, farmers now have contracts to farm the same patch of ground for 30 years. This gives them the security they need to make long-term investments in their land. Farmers, like Mr. Shi, are now investing in fruit trees, irrigation systems, greenhouses, and the like. This impacts not only income but also nutrition as farmers across China branch out into higher value, and often more nutritious, crops.
To find out more about the critical role land rights play in the livelihoods of China’s farmers, view our Landesa in China page.