China and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have signed a US$50mn agreement to support the food systems in developing nations
China’s agriculture minister Han Changuf signed the MoU with FAO.
The agreement aims to build sustainable food systems and inclusive agricultural value chains, recognising the growing importance of collaboration between Southern countries in the fight against extreme hunger and poverty. In the first phase, Chinese experts will stay for about three years and train local farmers in the nations they have been sent to. The second phase will expand on the lessons learnt, sharing best farming practices and establishing working relationships with research centres.
The South-South Cooperation has gained prominence in recent years as an innovative approach to development assistance that complements traditional models of development assistance. According to the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, China will support the exchange of its agricultural experts with countries in the global South especially low-income food deficit areas in Asia, as well as in Africa and Latin America, over a period of five years.
FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva said, “China has made strides in decreasing hunger and has used its own experience to support other countries in doing the same. It has become clear that while we have the power to end hunger in our lifetime, we will only succeed if we work together – Southern countries empowering one another by exchanging knowledge and tools is a key part of this.”
From 1990, China has successfully lifted 138mn residents out of chronic hunger and reached the World Food Summit Goal, in addition to reaching the Millennium Development Goal of halving the prevalence of hunger ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang added, “We are ready to enhance our cooperation with FAO, which will not only benefit agricultural development and progress toward hunger reduction targets, but also the poor and hungry people of the world.”
Since FAO’s South-South Cooperation initiative was established in 1996, China has been a front runner in sharing its agricultural expertise worldwide, to date deploying 1,023 experts and technicians to 25 countries.