Qi Zhou is currently a full-time PhD student in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, under the supervision of Dr. Yan Hairong and Dr. Jenny Chan. Her research concentrates on farmer training and vocational education in rural China.
Training “new farmers”: State, community, technology and farmers in transformation
As one of the important means to solve the “San Nong” (三农) issues, farmer training has always been the focus of government officials and scholars alike. In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture promulgated a plan to train at least 20 million “new farmers” by 2020. This is not the first time in the history of the People’s Republic of China that government devised policies to imagine “new farmers.” Why does the government see the training of new
farmers a compelling mission now? What kind of relationship do these “new farmers” forge with the government, agribusiness, technology and rural communities? Drawing on a political economic perspective, I will seek answers to these questions by conducting a qualitative sociological study of the on-going training of these “new farmers.” This study will situate the formation of “new farmers” in differing contexts of China’s development, namely the Mao-era of rural collective economy, the Reform-era of household responsibility system, and the contemporary “new-era” of rural revitalization. I will examine the new farmers’ individual experiences while analyzing their positions in production relations and class stat us, to summarise the characteristics of different farmers, to discover the internal connection between the shaping of “features”, agrarian changes and different training supplies. This will help to deconstruct the meaning of “farmers” in China.
Affiliation: Hong Kong Polytechnic University