BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Work on agriculture and rural areas has been high on China's agenda for 18 consecutive years as the country lends top priority to rural development.
Various measures have been taken in recent years to optimize the agricultural industry, raise the living standards of farmers and improve the infrastructure and environment in rural areas. The following are some highlights of China's achievements in rural development based on official data.
-- China saw its 17th consecutive bumper year in 2020, with grain output up 0.9 percent year on year to nearly 670 billion kg. This marks the sixth consecutive year the country's total grain production has exceeded 650 billion kg.
-- The contribution rate of science and technology advancement in agriculture topped 60 percent last year. The mechanization rate of farming and harvesting hit 71 percent, and the amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides used for crops dropped for four consecutive years.
-- Currently, the planting area of self-bred crop varieties accounts for more than 95 percent of the country's total. The self-sufficiency rates of core provenances of livestock and poultry and aquatic products reached 75 percent and 85 percent, respectively.
-- By the end of 2020, nearly 100 million impoverished rural residents had escaped poverty since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, and all 832 national-level poverty-stricken counties had shaken off poverty.
-- The growth of rural residents' incomes outpaced that of urban residents for the 11th consecutive year in 2020, further narrowing urban-rural income gap. The country also completed its target of doubling the average per capita income of rural residents in 2019 from the 2010 level, one year ahead of schedule.
-- China built or upgraded 2.09 million km of rural roads from 2012 to 2019, including about 1.1 million km in poor areas, bringing the total length of rural roads to 4.2 million km, and connecting another 51,000 administrative villages in poor areas with asphalt and concrete roads.
-- The country completed a new round of rural grid transformation and upgrade in 2019, achieving a supply reliability rate of 99.8 percent and an integrated voltage qualification rate of 97.9 percent. Stable and reliable power supply services have been provided to all rural areas in China.
-- China unveiled a three-year plan to improve the rural living environment in 2018. Currently, over 65 percent of rural households in the country have access to sanitary toilets, and more than 30 million households have had their toilets renovated since 2018.
Sewage and garbage treatment in rural areas has also seen improvements, with waste collection, transportation and disposal systems covering over 90 percent of administrative villages. Enditem