China Rural Special Technology Association (CRSTA), established on November 8th, 1995 in accordance with the relevant laws, is a non-profit voluntary organization under the direct leadership of China Association for Science and Technology (CAST). CRSTA is composed of grass-root Rural Special Technology Associations (RSTAs), rural special cooperative organizations, science and technology professionals who engage in the research and popularization of rural special technologies, and some farmers. It is the national federation RSTAs at various levels, and serves to connect the government with researchers and farmers.
RSTAs came into being after China’s adoption of the “Reform and Open” policy. They are voluntary organizations established and managed by farmers on a voluntary basis, and serve to connect farmers through science and technology. After more than thirty years of existence, RSTAs have undergone remarkable development in their scale and effectiveness, and their scope of work covers all the stages of agricultural production. At the end of 2015, there were 110,476 RSTAs – connecting more than 14.87 million rural households - in 140 categories such as grain, vegetables, aquaculture, forest and fruits, edible fungi, processing, and transportation, etc. The RSTAs have received high attention and support from CAST and various level of the government. Since 2006, CAST and the Ministry of Finance have been jointly implementing a program called “Benefiting Farmers and Revitalizing Rural Areas through the Popularization of Science and Technology”. By the end of 2016, the program had invested RMB 1.6036 billion, and benefited 8,018 RSTAs. Twenty-eight Provincial-level RSTAs have also been established. RSTAs have been playing an indispensable role in building modern agriculture and new socialist countryside.
CRSTA is dedicated to leading and promoting the development of grass-root RSTAs, building connections between various levels of RSTAs, strengthening its own capacity, and organizing a wide range of programs (such as science and technology popularization, agricultural produce exhibition, farmer training, and exchanges with farmers’ associations from other countries, etc.) Under the leadership of its board, CRSTA has made remarkable achievements, gained increasing influence and recognition, received very positive attention from the government and the society, and been welcomed by farmers. CRSTA will always adhere to democratic principles in its operation so as to unite and mobilize all its members. In order to promote “scientific development” and “harmonious society”, CRSTA is committed to implementing the State Council’s Outline of the National Scheme for Scientific Literacy and the program of “Benefiting Farmers and Revitalizing Rural Areas through the Popularization of Science and Technology” supported by CAST and the Ministry of Finance, so as to make greater contribution to China agriculture, rural development, and farmers’ livelihood.