(Yicai Global) Oct. 22 -- The Chinese province of Zhejiang is offering college graduates who work in agriculture an annual payment of CNY10,000 (USD1,442) for three years to entice more youngsters to till the soil, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The east coast province has come up with various measures since 2010 to promote new agricultural businesses and encourage young people to get into modern farming, Xinhua said. The latest policy is sponsored by the local agriculture, finance, human resources and social security agencies.
University and junior college students majoring in agriculture or forestry with permanent residence in the province are exempt from tuition fees. Zhejiang also offers allowances to those who start farming-related businesses and pays the higher education fees of talented individuals.
The province has 1,600 farming entrepreneurs aged under 45 with a junior college degree or higher qualification, while 23.5 percent of the managers of provincial farm cooperatives have a junior college degree or more, with many born in the 1980s and 1990s now taking over model family farms from their parents, statistics show.
Zhejiang had 719 farmers in professional cooperatives led by college graduates by the end of last year, with some experienced degree holders also taking charge of these and other agricultural firms.
Editor: Ben Armour