On October 29, 2011, Radio Free Asia published an article based on China’s official media reports regarding the rapidly declining rural population in China. From 2005 to 2009, China lost over 7000 rural village committees each year. An average of 20 administrative villages disappeared each day. Due to the large numbers of the rural laborers migrating to cities, the problem of abandoned arable farmland is very serious, affecting the stability and security of the country’s agriculture and food supply.
China’s farmers do not own the land they work on. On behalf of the state, local authorities can take away their farmland legally or illegally, at any time. According China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, in the first three quarters of this year alone, local authorities across China took away 37,000 farms for other illegal uses, an increase of more than 4% compared to the same period last year, .
As the authorities grab more and more farmland, farmers have lost interest in farming. They simply do not know when developers will confiscate their land in order to sell it. Besides, Chinese farmers cannot make much money or even lose money from farming due to the fact that the prices for seeds, pesticides, and utilities are increasing so rapidly.
Source: Radio Free Asia, October 29, 2011