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January 4, 2023   WFP China COE
A Sketch of China's Digital Countryside Strategy

Digital Countryside Strategy;China;Policy Support

The Opinions on Implementing the Rural Revitalization Strategy issued in 2018 vows to “implement the digital countryside strategy, ensure sound overall planning and design, accelerate the coverage of broadband networks and 4G networks in rural areas, develop information technologies, products, applications, and services that suit the characteristics of agriculture, rural areas, and rural people… to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas.”

The Outline of the Digital Countryside Strategy released in 2019 defines “rural digitization” as “an endogenous modernization and transformation process of agriculture and rural areas accompanied with the application of the internet, information and digital technologies in rural socioeconomic development, agriculture and with the farmers’ ever-improved IT skills.”The digital countryside strategy would be implemented in four steps, and the goal is that “by the middle of the 21st century, a digital countryside will be built, and rural vitalization will be achieved in all respects, with strong agriculture, beautiful environment and prosperous farmers.”

The Guidelines on the Construction of the Standards System for Digital Countryside released in 2022 sets forth seven national standards, including basic and general standards, standards governing digital infrastructure, agricultural and rural data, IT application in agriculture, rural digitization, construction and management, and security and support.

The digital countryside strategy mainly entails the following three tasks:

● Strengthening rural digital and logistics infrastructure;

● Digitizing traditional rural industries and expanding the application of digital technology in rural areas; and

● Enhancing rural governance capacity and supporting dynamic judgement and the exercise of supervision.

Excerpt from: Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation Report 2022: Digital Technology Empowers Agricultural Value Chain Development