China to bolster financial, insurance support to agricultural areas

Latest measures designed to alleviate impact of coronavirus on economies of most impoverished areas

by Nadeem Xu
China to bolster financial, insurance support to agricultural areas
Rural areas are to receive additional assistance to help them recover from the coronavirus downturn. Photo: Walmart/Flickr

(ATF) China will ramp up financial and insurance assistance to sectors related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers, according to a circular issued Thursday by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

To secure the supply of major farm produce, the commission is encouraging commercial banks to strengthen financial support for grain production, circulation, processing, storage, import and export and consumption. It will also encourage them to offer good financial services to the animal husbandry industry.

The latest measures are part of a programme of financial support being offered to remote parts of China, which may have been disproportionately hurt by the coronavirus economic downturn. Among the largest, an open economy trading zone is to be established in Jiangxi Province.

Further financial assistance should be offered to family farms, rural cooperatives and people returning or moving to the countryside to set up businesses, the circular stated.

Loans to rural areas will be expanded to prop up epidemic prevention and control, public health infrastructure construction, as well as the tourism sector, planting and breeding, and production of agricultural products and by-products, all of which were hit by the epidemic.

The commission also underscored poverty alleviation measures, urging efforts to enlarge the scale of loans to deeply impoverished areas and beef up credit support to industrial development in poor areas.

Insurance entities are encouraged to offer policy-based agricultural insurance services and promote severe illness insurance programs in poverty-stricken regions.