Improving the lives of farming families in rural China
Tax & Accounting product helps to identify land boundaries and secure farmers’ rights
You wouldn’t normally associate cutting-edge satellite technology with a small rural village in eastern China, however, that technology is being used to map farmland in an attempt to modernize China’s agricultural sector.
The desire to modernize China’s agricultural sector and strengthen the country’s food supply, has led the Chinese government to make agriculture land registration and mapping a policy priority. In China’s annual rural policy document released a few weeks ago, the document called for farmland rights to be clearly defined and digitally archived nationwide over the next five years.
The Government segment of Tax & Accounting has been working with local Chinese communities through a pilot program in the Anhui Province. This project, launched in 2010 in a tiny rural village in eastern China, utilized our Government Revenue Management Registry solution to map parcel boundaries from satellite images with village records, issue land certificates and create registries that allows farmers to verify their property.
Land mapping has become an important tool to protect farmers’ land rights.
In the 1980s, reforms assigned land certificates to rural households in China, but they lacked real accuracy in physically locating ownership. Further clouding the issue, more than half of these households lack any proper documentation – farmers often rely on their own knowledge to estimate which pieces of land belong to whom without any official government recognition of ownership.
A World Bank study found that farming families who feel more secure in their land rights will invest in the growth and development of their land.
"This pilot program marks the beginning of the largest rural land reform initiative ever anywhere and at any point in history," said Christopher Barlow, director, Communications and Strategic Relations, who served as the project manager for this pilot. "As this program expands nationally in China, further precise mapping of farmland coupled with local governments recognizing farmers’ rights will provide citizens with more economic and social security – helping grow and develop rural communities."
"This program is more than just mapping out pieces of land through satellite imaging," said Bill McKinzie, managing director, Government, Tax & Accounting. “It’s an opportunity to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people.”
Throughout China, over 1 billion plots (acres) of agriculture land have never been officially mapped. The lessons learned from this pilot program have been leveraged in other projects and will look to be rolled out across China.