The value of farming

Since I now live in a regional area (when I am in China), I meet farmers like this everyday. Only a few minutes’ walk away is a local market, where I buy fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, spices, and freshly made tofu. These photographs come from Sichuan, but you can see similar scenes all across China. They concern a special early morning bus route for farmers so they can get to the markets with relative ease.


6 thoughts on “The value of farming

    1. They do tend to smile a lot and farming people in these parts at least have no hesitation in coming up to me and asking questions about my bicycle, where I am from and so on. They were, after all, the core of the communist revolution.

  1. I’ve always wondered about those red armbands emblazoned with Chinese script worn by some police officers and civilians. What exactly do they signify? What do these people do?

  2. Dr. Boer,

    I promise this will be a more intelligent question and relevant to the subject matter of this post.

    There was an article that appeared in the New York Times, written by Ian Johnson, that documented a growing number of farmers in the Xiaoxihe region demanding the right to privately own land. According to them, not having the legal right to do so prevents them from accumulating wealth through buying, selling or renting plots to create economically viable larger tracts or using it as collateral to raise more capital than they’re currently able to, and that this is exacerbating the wealth gap that still exists between the city and countryside. Is there anything to this story? Are more and more farmers disgruntled with the state ownership of land?

    On the surface, it would seem that the Chinese government would regard privatizing land as a step backward but they’re also interested in doing what’s pragmatic; i.e. what will optimally generate the highest rate of economic growth.

    What’s your take on this as someone with likely more inside knowledge of China than a New York Times reporter?


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