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Minister Han Changfu statement on taking China-Africa agricultural cooperation to a new height

DATE:2018-09-21       SOURCE:MARA

Agriculture represents a priority area and a common ground for China-Africa cooperation. This year marks the 12th year of agricultural cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).


Remarkable achievements in China-Africa agricultural cooperation over the past 12 years  


The Chinese Government always adheres to the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and upholds justice while pursuing shared interests in cooperation with Africa over the past 12 years. China and Africa have implemented the agriculture-related outcomes of all previous summits of the FOCAC, and carried out all-round exchanges and cooperation in agriculture, particularly in policies, S&T, personnel, trade and investment. Such cooperation has not only promoted modern agriculture and increased food security in Africa, but also broadened China-Africa agricultural cooperation.


Strengthened policy dialogue and strategic consultation. China and African countries always give prominence to inter-government policy dialogue to consolidate China-Africa agricultural cooperation. China has been sharing its experience and practices on agricultural and rural development and poverty reduction with African countries. At multilateral level, China has spared no efforts to create various platforms for China-Africa agricultural policy dialogue.  At bilateral level, China has signed MOUs or protocols on agricultural cooperation with 16 African countries, and such cooperation has covered seed industry, livestock, agricultural machinery, inspection and quarantine and other areas. Joint agricultural committees or agricultural working groups have been established between China and African countries.  


Enhanced technical exchanges. Under China’s sponsorship, up to 20 Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centers have been established in 19 African countries, showcasing advanced agricultural technologies and crop varieties from China and serving as multilateral and bilateral platforms for technical cooperation. China has fielded 71 expert groups to 37 African countries to provide guidance on agricultural production. Up to now, more than 300 crop varieties and over 500 practical technologies have introduced from China into African countries, benefiting 1 million smallholders.


Expanded trade. Agricultural trade and investment has kept rapid growth between China and Africa in recent years. In 2017, China-Africa agricultural trade value totaled over US$ 6 billion. By the end of 2017, Chinese enterprises had invested 117 large-scale agricultural projects (investment amount above 5 million RMB) with total investment by 14.83 billion RMB. These projects have covered crop production, agricultural products processing and fisheries, benefiting over two-thirds African countries.


Frequent personnel exchanges. Since 2006, China has conducted 337 training activities in agriculture, providing over 57000 training opportunities for African officials, technicians and students.


Intensified South-South cooperation (SSC). China signed the Letter of Intent on Forming Strategic Alliance with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), becoming the first country to establish strategic alliance on SSC with the FAO. In 2008, China announced to contribute US$ 30 million Trust Fund to the FAO to support agricultural development under the framework of SSC. Since the launch of the Trust Fund, China has carried out agricultural projects in Africa through triangular cooperation mechanism, including agricultural technology pilot and demonstration in over 60 project sites. FAO Director-General lauded China’s pioneering role as the largest contributor in supporting SSC on several occasions.


Renewing China-Africa agricultural cooperation in the new era    


President Xi Jinping called for an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future at the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC in 2018, and the advocating is well received by African countries. Upholding the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and in light of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) will implement all agriculture-related measures put forward at the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC. To this end, the MARA will strengthen top-level design and innovative cooperation modes, and take practical measures on China-Africa agricultural cooperation to deliver tangible benefits to Africans. The MARA will focus on the following areas to further China-Africa agricultural cooperation.


Top-level design. The MARA will dovetail China-Africa agricultural cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, the African Union Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of African countries. China and Africa will jointly formulate the Plan for cooperation in modern agriculture, specifying priority areas, objectives, projects and pathways for China-Africa agricultural cooperation in the next stage. 


Cooperation mechanisms. China will intensify cooperation with African Union (AU), and promote the establishment of China-AU Agricultural Cooperation Commission and holding the forum on China-Africa agricultural cooperation on a regular basis.


Technical cooperation modes. The MARA will make the best of cooperation mechanism between Chinese and African agricultural research institutes (“10+ 10”), China-sponsored agricultural technology demonstration centers, agricultural expert pool and training resources both in China and Africa to create synergy.


Agricultural trade cooperation. The MARA will step up efforts in building agricultural cooperation demonstration parks in Africa by improving infrastructure such as roads and conservancy facilities. China will encourage qualified and credible Chinese enterprises to run business in the parks. By demonstrating agriculture-related businesses such as production, processing, storage and logistics, these parks are expected to generate spillover effect in Africa.



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