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China has relaxed rules to allow farmers to transfer their land rights to help promote more efficient, large-scale farms, amid an exodus of farm workers to the cities. The authorities on Sunday recommended separating various rights to rural land, which they say would improve land circulation, increase farmers’ incomes, and contribute to the development of modern agriculture.

China’s Agriculture Minister Han Changfu told a news conference on Thursday that the separation of rural land ownership rights, contracted rights and operating rights is a key reform step. “This helps guide the orderly transfer of land operating rights and lays a system foundation for appropriate-scale agricultural operations in development and modern agriculture,” he said.

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