Peasant farmers thresh their rice harvest by hand at one of the thousands of villages in the huge Sichuan province. - - Agricultural Reform in China. Since the "second revolution" in economic reform that came with the 1984 October decision, agricultural reform in the People's Republic of China has been very successful, although the arable land accounts for only 11% of the nation's total 9 596 961 square km and most Chinese remain relatively poor. Per capita income for the nation's 800 million peasants jumped 200% between 1978 and 1985, and agricultural growth reached 15% by 1985. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is helping China to improve its agricultural and rural development programmes and institutions. In 1986, FAO had 59 projects in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, including 34 short-term projects financed by FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme.