Publication: Toward a Greener China: A Review of Recent Agricultural Support Policies and Public Expenditures

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World Bank
In recent decades, the Chinese government has placed great importance on developing agriculture and rural areas, adopting policies, and increasing public expenditures targeting these. China’s agricultural policies and support mechanisms have evolved, responding to emerging challenges and reflecting shifts in broader national policy and strategic efforts. These interventions had a modest impact on grain production and provided a more significant boost to rural incomes yet gave rise to significant market distortions and unintended consequences. The composition and patterns of public expenditures for agriculture reflect this dynamic evolution and changing priorities concerning the development of China’s agriculture and rural areas. This report analyses in some depth the changing scale and structure of pertinent public expenditures and briefly synthesizes the available evidence regarding the efficacy of certain expenditures (and the policies to which they are connected). Among the major observations made in the report regarding agriculture-related public expenditures are the following: first, the central and local governments have allocated considerable resources over the past two decades to support agricultural and rural development. Second, the composition of public expenditure classified as agriculture, forestry, and water conservancy (AFW) has changed dramatically in recent years. Third, the public expenditure involving direct support for agriculture peaked in 2015 and has since declined, while public expenditure on general support services has increased and diversified. Fourth, public eco-environmental expenditures have increased considerably and taken on a wide range of different forms. Finally, spatial differences in public expenditures supporting AFW and green agricultural development are worth noting and require additional attention, given the increasing dominance of local governments in delivering agricultural programs and investments.
World Bank. 2022. Toward a Greener China: A Review of Recent Agricultural Support Policies and Public Expenditures. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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