CHINA - Securing a job in China is becoming harder for new college graduates, so Cai Huailian chose the bold path of returning to his rural hometown to become a farmer.
Born in a village in Mengcheng City of east China's Anhui Province, the 23-year-old went to Anhui Agricultural University in the provincial capital of Hefei four years ago to study mechanical design, manufacturing and automation, reports Panorama Network and XINHUA. During the past few months, when his former classmates have been looking for engineering jobs in big cities, Cai has been busy leasing farmland.
"I can get about 200 mu (13.3 hectares) of farmland by this autumn. My first plan is to grow wheat and corn," he said. The dream of having a farm took root two years ago.
"As a college graduate from an agricultural university, I can use my knowledge. Starting a business is a good choice for me," Cai said.
A record high 7.2 million Chinese students have left universities this year. But it comes at a time when the country's manufacturing sector is hampered by a slowing economy. The job market has been especially tough.
Han Ping, head of the enrolment and employment department of Anhui Agricultural University, said the employment rate of graduates this year was 65 percent at the beginning of June, down by 10 percent from 2013.
Due to employment pressures, college students are increasingly considering self-employment. However, according to statistics from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, only around 1 per cent of Chinese college graduates have started their own businesses.
Han said graduates wanting to set up a business are facing problems including lack of capital, experience and supportive social conditions. Last month, nine government departments jointly issued a notice aiming to help 800,000 university students enter self-employment from 2014 to 2017.
Huang Jingrong, a professor at Hefei University of Technology, said encouraging graduates' entrepreneurship will not only help ease the employment situation but also promote innovation in business.
TheCropSite News Desk