China to send agricultural experts to Gabon
Will help small-scale farmers in agriculture, livestock and fisheries
18 January 2007, Rome - China will send 44 agricultural experts and technicians to Gabon to help small-scale farmers there improve crop and animal production, fish farming and processing of agricultural products, under an agreement signed today between the two countries and FAO.
The agreement is part of FAO's South-South Cooperation initiative, which aims to strengthen cooperation among developing countries at different stages of development to improve agricultural productivity and ensure access to food for all.
The Chinese specialists, with expertise in the fields of water control, crop production, animal diversification, aquaculture and processing, will assist the Government of Gabon for two years in implementing the first phase of the country’s Special Programme for Food Security.
Based on the results of the first phase, a larger National Programme for Food Security will be developed, and the number of experts and technicians may be increased to assist the government in implementing the expanded programme.
“Once again, the Government of China has demonstrated its commitment to advancing the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals of halving hunger by 2015 by helping other countries improve their food security,” said Tesfai Tecle, FAO Assistant Director-General for Technical Cooperation.
China is a major provider of South-South Cooperation experts and has already signed agreements with Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria, as well as with 14 Small Island Developing States under regional programmes. Some 650 Chinese experts and technicians have been fielded to these countries to assist small-scale farmers in improving agricultural productivity and food security.
In May 2006, the Government of China signed a letter of intent to provide the services of at least 3 000 experts and technicians over a six-year period to help improve the productivity of small-scale farmers and fishers in developing countries, as part of an FAO/China Strategic Alliance for South-South Cooperation in support of national and regional programmes for food security. In addition to personnel, the Government of China will also provide inputs, tools and equipment for the technologies being introduced by its experts.
The South-South Cooperation initiative is part of FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) designed to improve lives in some of the world's poorest countries by rapidly increasing food production, improving people's access to food and reducing their vulnerability to climatic events such as drought and floods.
To date, more than 100 countries have participated in the SPFS and more than 1350 South-South Cooperation experts and technicians have worked with rural communities in 38 countries.
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