Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Returned migrants raising livestock

How 'ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Dongguan? Give them some subsidies and training!

In 2007-08, there were many reports of farmers abandoning small-scale livestock production. Now they are returning to the industry with a little prodding from Jiangxi Province officials. Early this year, the big concern was about rural migrants who lost their jobs in closed export factories. China's economic planners in Jiangxi apparently decided to put migrants to work in raising livestock.

According to Farmers Daily (Dec. 17), Jiangxi provincial officials claim that 90,000 returned migrants are now raising livestock. Of those, 42,000 set up their own farms, and 48,000 are employed on large-scale farms, in companies, and "production bases." They are reportedly tending 26 million animals and poultry. Officials claim that these farmers' monthly income is 511 yuan higher than it was working as migrants last year.

Provincial officials plugged migrants into the subsidy gravy train. They took advantage of national and provincial subsidies for sow and dairy cow insurance, breeding sow subsidies, good quality dairy cattle subsidies, interest-free loans, and training programs. Financial programs encourage "dragon head" enterprises, farmer cooperative organizations, farmer loans, joint lending, and dragon head enterprise loan guarantees to supply funds for returned migrants. Officials estimate that 2 billion yuan in financial capital has been supplied through various channels.

Livestock farming is encouraged through vertical integration: "Company + cooperative + farmer," and contracting arrangements similar to those in the U.S. where companies either supply animals to farmers and buy them back or where companies keep ownership of the animals while farmers raise them.

The provincial veterinary bureau has held many livestock training sessions to spread standardized production techniques, ecological methods, immunization and disease control, manure handling to support retunred migrants.

No comments: