Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Entrepreneurship and Intervention Strategies of Land-Lost Farmers in Urbanization Process of Zhejiang Province

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Entrepreneurship and Intervention Strategies of Land-Lost Farmers in Urbanization Process of Zhejiang Province

Article excerpt

Introduction

China's GDP per capita increased from US$4,682 in 2010 to US$5,000 in 2011, but its urbanization rate over these years has only increased from 49.5% in 2010 to 50% in 2011, which was significantly lower than that of the United States (Chen & Huang, 2012). By the end of 2014, according to Zhejiang Statistics Yearbook, the urbanization rate in Zhejiang province reached 64%, whereas that in the Hangzhou and Ningbo regions amounted to 75.1% and 70%, respectively (Statistics Bureau of Zhejiang Province, 2015). Hangzhou and Ningbo have reached the mature stage of urbanization (Northam, 1975). Most local governments have included the rate of urbanization in the governmental performance management system. The new office for examination and assessment was established in Hangzhou in 2006 to accelerate the urbanization process and comprehensive evaluations. As a capital city of Zhejiang, Hangzhou is the first to change its focus from scale expansion to quality improvement and from land urbanization to civilization. The Hangzhou government has also increased its efforts to satisfy the social and spiritual demands of its people and to promote the sustainable development of its towns.

Based on the urbanization level and economic growth rate of China, the number of land-lost farmers in the country will reach approximately 100 million in 10 years. Land-lost farmers face various risks and losses in terms of economy, society, culture, capital, opportunities, and rights (Bao and Peng, 2016). Therefore, the government must promote the development of these peasants instead of guaranteeing their subsistence (Zheng & Sun, 2006). Providing opportunities for land-lost farmers and maintaining their rights to development can effectively solve the problems of this disadvantaged population. Previous studies reveal that self-employment people are highly satisfied with their lives and demonstrate the highest citizenization. Therefore, the government must increase non-agricultural employment channels of land-lost farmers and create favorable conditions for these peasants to start their own businesses. Solving the problems of land-lost farmers, providing new knowledge and skills, offering new social roles, establishing new social relations, and integrating peasants into the urban social life are all directly related to the urbanization level and management performance of the Chinese government. To improve its management performance, the government should change its governance from GDP (land) oriented to people oriented. The government should also implement feasible policies for enhancing entrepreneurship awareness of land-lost farmers.

Previous studies have primarily focused on the necessity of peasants' entrepreneurship and have proposed some countermeasures to promote entrepreneurial peasants. However, their findings provide insufficient theoretical basis for the implementation of supporting policies from the government. Therefore, land-lost farmers are not provided with an effective guidance. Thus, investigating the entrepreneurial awareness of land-lost farmers (including the directions of the path, effect, and regulating mechanism), as well as analyzing their intrinsic mechanism, is crucial.

Literature Review

Protection Settlement for Land-Lost Farmers and Policy Practice

More than 5,000 land-lost farmers were recorded in 2008 in the whole country (Bao, 2012). Land-lost farmers are different from "migrant workers" and "traditional peasants," under the dual urban-rural division policy (Zhang, 2011; Lai, Peng, Li, & Lin, 2014). Land expropriation has resulted in land-lost farmers, whose priority is to secure their lands and lives. These peasants face several difficulties or become "marginal people" when they attempt to adapt to the urban life. Their transition from peasants to urban citizens is characterized by the seizing of lands in a non-market manner and the settlement of land-lost farmers in a market fashion. …

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