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08:30, March 22, 2010

Senior leader urges cooperatives to play bigger role in rural development

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L Front) meets with the delegates to the 5th Congress of the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives in Beijing, capital of China, March 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

China's supply and marketing cooperatives should play a bigger role in advancing modern agriculture and prospering rural markets, State Councilor Ma Kai said on Sunday.

"Supply and marketing cooperatives are an important part of the country's agricultural and rural development, concerning the overall reform and development in rural areas," Ma said in an address to the 5th Congress of the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives held Sunday in Beijing.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Uyunqimg also attended the congress.

With a history of more than 80 years, China's supply and marketing cooperatives have served as an key platform for the distribution of agricultural products in the rural areas.

China's supply and marketing cooperatives have provided strong support to agricultural growth, farmers' income increase and rural prosperity, and made remarkable contributions to rural market expansion as well as stable and relatively fast economic growth, Ma said.

Ma stressed that the distribution network in rural areas should be further advanced and the establishment of specialized farmers' cooperatives should be sped up.

In 2009, the combined sales volume of China's supply and marketing cooperatives rose 14.75 percent year on year to exceed 1.23 trillion yuan (181 billion U.S. dollars), while their total retail sales of consumer goods rose 27 percent to 338 billion yuan (50 billion U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua
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