As part of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency-funded technical assistance program, Thomson Reuters supported Anhui Province in East China in conducting a rural land registration and certification pilot project. China’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) had coordinated eight land registration provincial pilot projects, all at the village level; the Anhui Province project was one of these pilot projects.
For such a large-scale rural registration and cadastre system, associated costs must first be evaluated and then the benefits must be defined as well. Thomson Reuters sought to identify how a detailed cost model for a complete rural registry and cadastre was created, and delineate the benefits for the provincial government, county governments, and rural farmers.
The rural land registration and mapping pilot projects were intended to lead the way to better food security and greater land tenure security for rural farmers. County land records for such purposes as land assessments or subsidy payments do not exist in China today.
In a province with an estimated 13 million households and 100 million rural parcels, this assignment is easier said than done. Together with AAC, Thomson Reuters laid the groundwork for a functional registry and cadastre, the foundation for any property assessment system. Through targeted educational and capacity-building programs, the Chinese government is expected to commence a profound land and property appraisal program, the result of which could finance rural infrastructure, public services, and land use planning initiatives. Land registration is one key to overall land tenure security, and such pilot projects will help lay the foundation for future fiscal cadastre programs (valuation and taxation).