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T H E   N A T I O N A L   B U R E A U  of  A S I A N   R E S E A R C H
 The Next Generation Leadership in Asian Affairs Discussion Series 

UNLEASHING THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION POWER OF CHINA'S 750 MILLION RURAL POOR
Results of a Nationwide Survey

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
George F. Russell Jr. Hall

The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) will host Roy Prosterman, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Rural Development Institute (RDI), at NBR's new offices in the University District. Prosterman will speak and take questions on key findings of RDI's recent nationwide survey on farmers' land rights and the implications for China's future. The results were published in the NBR Special Report “Secure Land Rights as a Foundation for Broad-Based Rural Development in China.”

RSVP to Nilanthi Samaranayake at nilanthi@nbr.org or (206) 632-7370. Space is limited, so please respond as early as possible. The event will be held at:

The National Bureau of Asian Research
Brady Board Room
George F. Russell Jr. Hall
1414 NE 42nd Street, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98105

Please join us beforehand at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and an opportunity to network with other guests and NBR staff. The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and finish promptly at 11:00 a.m.

Background on the Topic

Land is the single greatest asset for the world's rural poor. In China, however, farmers' land rights are far from secure. Over forty million rural residents in China have lost their farmland due to urban or industrial developments over the last decade, while receiving little compensation. The implications of insecure land rights are two-fold: Chinese farmers have no incentive to make long-term investments in their land to enhance productivity, and China now suffers one of the worst rural-urban income gaps in the world. Moreover, land grievances are the primary source of social unrest. Providing secure land rights to China's rural population would provide a foundation for broad-based development and counter the global economic crisis by stimulating domestic consumption and production. When the 750 million rural people are given secure land rights, they will invest, expand and diversify production, increase their farm income, and become consumers of a wide range of goods and services.

The NBR Special Report "Secure Land Rights as a Foundation for Broad-Based Rural Development in China" summarizes the findings of RDI's 2008 nationwide survey on farmers' land rights in China and describes the extensive implications of secure, long-term land rights.

Event Sponsorship

Part of The Next Generation Leadership in Asian Affairs Discussion Series, this event is co-organized by NBR's Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies and Next Generation Leadership in Asian Affairs Fellowship Program.

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Roy Prosterman

Roy Prosterman is the Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Rural Development Institute (RDI), Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Washington, and an expert on land reform and foreign aid.

Through RDI, Prosterman has provided over 40 years of research, policy advisory, technical assistance, and public education experience in the international development-law field to more than 45 countries. Prosterman's work has focused on the often neglected area of rural development and has encompassed legal and policy aspects of land tenure reform and land market development.

Nominated for the Nobel Prize, Prosterman has been lauded by Bill Gates Sr. as a "champion for the world's poor." His most recent book is One Billion Rising: Land, Law and the Alleviation of Global Poverty.



RDI logo

The Rural Development Institute (RDI) is an international nonprofit working to secure land rights for the world's poorest. A global pioneer in using law to create ownership opportunities, RDI's work helps to alleviate poverty around the world. Over the past 40 years, RDI has worked in more than 45 countries, helping more than 100 million families attain secure land rights.

For more information, visit www.rdiland.org.