2017 Annual China Conference on Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management (CAFEM) was held October 13 through 15 at Nanjing Agricultural University. The conference was organized by the State Council Degrees Committee on Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management and the Youth Committee of Chinese Association of Agricultural Economics, hosted by College of Economics and Management of Nanjing Agricultural University, and assisted by the journal presses of Chinese Rural Economy and Issues in Agricultural Economy. About six hundred experts, scholars, teachers and students in the field of Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management were gathered for the academic discussions and communications focusing on the cutting edge issues in Agricultural Economics and for the provision of solutions and suggestions for the development and reform of “the three rural issues”.
Presented at the conference included Chen Xiwen, member of the standing committee of National Political Consultative Conference (NPCC), Deputy Dean of National Political and Economic Commission and former Vice Director of the Office of Central Rural Work Leading Group, Ke Bingsheng, member of NPCC, member of the State Council Degrees Committee, Ex-President of China Agricultural University, Doo Bong Han from Korean University, Chair of Korean Association of Agricultural Economics, Huang Jikun, Director of Chinese Rural Politics Research Center at Beijing University, Zhang Xiulin, Director of Rural Politics Research Center at Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Sheng Bangyao, Vice Secretary of Party Committee of Nanjing Agricultural University. Also presented were members of the Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management Disciplinary Appraisal Group of the State Council Degrees Committee, Higher Education Advisory Board of Agricultural Economics and Management under the Ministry of Education, and from the Youth Committee of the Chinese Association of Agricultural Economics, as well as scholars from about one hundred universities and research institutions including Renmin University of China, China Agricultural University, Zhejiang University, Huazhong Agricultural University, Jilin Agricultural University, South China Agricultural University, and Northwest A&F University.
The opening ceremony, hosted by Professor Zhong Funing from NJAU, commenced on the morning of October 13. Vice Secretary Sheng Bangyao of NJAU made a welcoming speech to the guests and scholars present at the conference. Sheng introduced in his speech the history of the development of Agricultural Economics at NJAU, attaching importance to its long history and due contribution to the disciplinary development on the national scale. He pointed out that the fundamental solution to agriculture was its modernization, whose connotation reached far beyond the range of traditional planting and crop production. It has become a big system covering the primary, secondary and tertiary industries, providing for the academic research on Agricultural Forestry a broad arena. Sheng looked forward to the better diagnosis of the national agricultural reform and expressed his expectation on the prospective achievement in the study of the three rural issues via the opportunity of the intensive exchanges and discussions on this conference.
Tang Zhong, Dean of College of Agriculture and Rural Development from Renmin University of China, delivered a speech on behalf of the Agricultural Economics Education Advisory Board. Professor Tang introduced the origins of the three organizational institutions, pointed out that the spirit of pursuing truth, discovering theories and advocating academic research would be inherited and promoted via the conference, and stated that the annual conference should completely resume its academic orientation, upholding its scholarly nature, open attitude, leading position, sustainable development, and its simplicity. He expressed his wish that the annual conference should become a temple of academic communication for Agricultural Economics in China, a stage for the growth of young Chinese scholars, and a major window through which to give the world a glimpse of Chinese Agricultural Economics academia.
Zhu Xinkai, Vice President of Chinese Association of Agricultural Economics and Chairman of Youth Committee, and Secretary of Renmin University of China, Suzhou campus, delivered a speech on behalf of the Youth Committee. Zhu mentioned that the Conference of China Agricultural Economics Young Scholars had promoted generations of young scholars en route to agricultural economics research. Under the new historical conditions, with the continuous industrialization and urbanization, research on rural economy and rural development was faced with new challenges. He pointed out that the Youth Committee and Chinese Association of Agricultural Economics should shoulder the responsibility of the new mission to unite the young scholars in the new era, and should provide quality service for this annual conference collaborating with the appraisal group, Educational Advisory Board, and the operating units.
Professor Zhu Jing, convener of the Disciplinary Appraisal Group for Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management of the Academic Committee of the State Council, Dean of College of Economics and Management of NJAU, extended her warmest welcome to the delegates present at the conference in her speech on behalf of the Agricultural Economics discipline. She stated that the conference had a history of development of nearly thirty years, during which generations of middle aged and young scholars had researched on the agricultural issues, directions and solutions，fully reflecting their deep concerns and rational thinking on the three rural issues. NJAU used to hold the largest scale Agricultural Economics Annual Conference in 1991, and it has become a nationwide institutional conference ever since. The 2017 conference was another phenomenal event 26 years after the former one. Zhu hoped that the arrangement of the special sessions like the feature meeting, teacher session, interview session, and wall newspaper would infuse new vitality to the conference, enhanced the cohesion, and have more impact on academic research. By brain storming, encountering opinions, and discussing innovations, it would help propel the disciplinary development of the Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management.
The first conference report session was hosted by Zhu Jing after the opening ceremony. Ke Bingsheng, Doo Bong Han, and Chen Xiwen made key-note speeches in turn. Ke delivered his speech entitled “Reform of Chinese Agricultural Subsidy Policy”, pointing out the three directions of the reform principle: of the market to play the role of resource distribution and allocation, of the government to play a better role of balancing supply and demand of the future, and of the decoupling subsidy to aid the income of the peasants. Doo Bong Han’s speech was on “Food Loss and Waste Management for Food Security and Sustainable Development”. He advocated the decrease in food waste in order to realize sustainable development. Chen spoke on “Advancing the Agricultural Supply-Side Structural Reform”, pointing out that the past ten years witnessed the fastest agricultural development in our country, which contributed to the national economic increase and improved the living condition of the peasants. However, the present stage was faced with unprecedented difficulty, which in deep analysis was due to the low comprehensive efficiency and weak international competitive force of the agricultural products. This posed the questions to be solved in order for the further development in Chinese agriculture. He proposed the agricultural supply-side structural reform involving agricultural product price mechanism, acceleration of agricultural technological progress, and innovation of agricultural operating system.
It is reported that 6 leading experts were invited to deliver key-note speeches on the conference. The main panel, focusing on theme topics, involved 28 experts and scholars and the parallel sessions gave 88 thesis reports for teachers and students respectively. A newly provided live interactive interview session invited international scholars to share their academic experiences with the audience. And, following the tradition of international conferences, it also set a special session of wall newspaper designed by the students.
Also reported is that the day before the opening ceremony, Conference of PhD Project Selection and Design on Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management, organized by the disciplinary appraisal group of the State Council Degrees Committee on Agricultural Forestry Economics and Management, was held on Oct. 12 at Nanjing Agricultural University, sponsored by NJAU College of Economics and Management. The conference provided for the 250 postgraduate students from 40 institutions with instructions and advice on academic thesis selection and formal academic writing.