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Joint Statement by MARA, FAO, IFAD and WFP on Implementation of China’s Rural Revitalization Strategy in Support of Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

DATE:2018-11-09       SOURCE:MARA
 

(November 2, 2018, Changsha, China)

 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MARA), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO),  the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and  the World Food Program (WFP) (hereinafter referred to as “the three agencies of the United Nations”) acknowledged the rural revitalization strategy proposed by the Chinese government, which can be synergized with the missions and strategies of the three agencies of the United Nations with the aim of  promoting sustainable development in  rural  China and achieving sustainable development goals in accordance with the China’s National Plan on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

As a populous country with over 1.3 billion people, China has put forward the rural revitalization strategy, which is an ambitious initiative accepted and appreciated by the three agencies of the United Nations, and especially with China’s resolute decision in giving priorities to developing agriculture and rural areas, including:  put investment in infrastructure, energy, irrigation and green science and technology in order to reduce poverty and ensure long-term and sustained food security. They have also acknowledged the important role that family farming and smallholders have played in rural development, all of which reflects the great attention on agricultural and rural development as well as the benefits of farmers paid by the Chinese government.

 

China and the three agencies of the United Nations have realized that China’s reform and opening up originated from rural areas have been a significant driving force for agricultural and rural development in China. Over the past four decades of reform and opening up, China’s agriculture and rural development have made historic achievements, with food security being effectively improved, the proportion of rural poor greatly reduced, and agricultural modernization enhanced substantially. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018, which shows that food insufficiency and under nutrition are on the rise in almost all regions of the World, while China’s experience of agriculture and rural development has provided the World with new development program.

 

The three agencies of the United Nations are willing to work together with China to review and summarize China’s agricultural and rural development experience and make good use of the platform provided by the three agencies in pursuit of promoting the dissemination and sharing of China’s agricultural and rural development experience. The three agencies of the United Nations would like to  use and demonstrate Chinese experience and practices in developing countries through their respective South-South cooperation program in agriculture with the aim of  helping these countries develop agriculture and improve local food security, thus promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development of agriculture, eliminating rural poverty, achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals reached  by all UN member states and pushing forward the establishment of the community of shared future for mankind.

 

China and the three agencies of the United Nations also acknowledged that agricultural and rural development in China have still been facing with many challenges. A great number of rural people have still been directly or indirectly relying on family farming; the quality and efficiency of agricultural supply need to be improved urgently; rural areas have been  in shortage of talents and rural infrastructure construction has been  relatively backward; the gap of fundamental  public service facilities and income level between urban and rural areas has been  still large, and the task of getting rid of poverty has been  still arduous, and the rural governance system and governance capacity need to be improved. The three agencies of the United Nations stand ready to help the Chinese government deal with these challenges.

 

The three agencies of the United Nations have noticed that the Chinese government has formulated the Plan for Rural Revitalization  Strategy (2018-2022) (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”), and have been  willing to give full play to their respective agencies’ capacities  and advantages, and push forward the effective linkage between  their own agency’s strategies and programs with the “Plan”. The three agencies will explore the ways and methods of implementing the “Plan” with the Chinese government through the formulation of country strategic program and action plans. Priorities may include but not limit to the following:

 

Supporting the process of integrated development of urban-rural areas in China.

 

The three agencies of the United Nations will utilize their expertise, knowledge and technology to provide technical, policy and advisory support  for the integrated development in  urban and rural  China, and help to make the plans for the rational industrial layout, agricultural infrastructure, public services, resources and energy, and ecological environment conservation in order to form a balanced development pattern between  rural areas and modern cities, which will have their own respective characteristics. 

 

Helping China improve the efficiency of poverty alleviation through developing food system, cooperatives and inclusive finance.

 

The three agencies of the United Nations will join hands in establishing the mechanism of  developing  inclusive agricultural industry that will  benefit  people with income level below the poverty line, and they will study and summarize the experience and creative ideas of private enterprises and cooperatives who are the major social forces involved in targeted  poverty alleviation, in the perspective of  poverty alleviation through industrial development  so as to improve the inclusiveness and sustainability of agricultural development.

 

Promoting the green agricultural development in China.

 

The three agencies of the United Nations will assist China in introducing and absorbing successful international practices of establishing ecological civilization and green agricultural development in order to develop cost-effective and environment-friendly agriculture. It is therefore to achieve high quality growth of agricultural development through input reduction, clean production, waste recycling and ecologization of the food system. Cooperation will be enhanced in the area of agricultural cultural heritage in order to promote the integration between the protection of traditional farming civilization and modern agriculture.

 

Supporting the training of new type of agricultural business entities.

 

We will, in particular, support women and young farmers to engage in agricultural production and development, and pay attention to their capacity-building. We shall make good use of the platform provided by the three agencies of the United Nations to cultivate talented agricultural personnel with new type of professional knowledge.

 

Supporting China to exchange and share its good experience of agricultural and rural development with international communities.

 

The three agencies of the United Nations will support China to hold the  global experience exchanging and sharing forums on agricultural and rural development in pursuit of absorbing  the best practices of agricultural and rural development in the international communities, thus  exchanging experience and lessons with various countries in rural revitalization.

 

As an important developing member of the three agencies of the United Nations, the Chinese government will firmly support the United Nations to play a key role  in international affairs and is willing to exchange and share technology, information and knowledge acquired during the implementation of the Plan with the three agencies, especially to share China's successful experience in food security, young women's development in rural areas, urban-rural integration development, agricultural information system , and poverty alleviation through developing industries, cooperatives and inclusive finance. We shall mobilize the various stakeholders such as Chinese government departments, research institutions and the private sector to be involved, and carry out in-depth cooperation with the three agencies in order to provide our support to the vast number of developing countries in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

The Chinese government is willing and continue to further strengthen its partnership with the three agencies of the United Nations in terms of  South-South cooperation, extending and innovating ways of cooperation, and broadening cooperation channels, especially in the context of the reform of the UN development system where South-South Cooperation plays an even more important part in promoting multilateralism and intensifying the cooperation among the three agencies. The Chinese government will make good use of  the China-FAO Trust Fund, WFP Center of Excellence for South-South Cooperation and China-IFAD South-South Cooperation Fund and South-South Cooperation Center, as well as the proposed establishment of  China-FAO International Center of Excellence for Agriculture Innovation and Rural Development, and support the strategic goals and development actions so as to promote global South-South agricultural cooperation , help other member countries improve food security and nutrition level, eradicate rural poverty, and build a world without hunger.


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