Bloomberg Businessweek

China Unleashes Its Farmers

Reforms allowing villagers to rent out their land have raised incomes in some parts of the country
Feng pledged his land use rights as collateral and opened a supermarket

Six years ago, Sun Zeshun was toiling on his farm in China’s coastal province of Jiangsu, growing wheat and rice and earning about 19,800 yuan ($3,000) in a good year. He seemed doomed to a life of grinding poverty.

Then in 2012, Sihong, a county of about 1 million people, launched a pilot land reform project. For the first time in the more than 60 years the Communist Party had ruled China, farmers were permitted to rent out their land, as long as it continued to be used for agriculture. Sun leased his to a commercial operation called Jiangsu Meiyang Ecological Agriculture & Forestry

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