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Rome, 22 August 2000 -- The governments of China and Ghana signed a tripartite agreement today with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to send Chinese agricultural experts and field technicians to assist agriculture in Ghana. The cooperative accord, signed under the framework of FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), will put the technical assistance services of China at the disposal of Ghana for 3 years, stressing a continuing spirit of Chinese cooperation with developing African countries. China also provides expertise for the SPFS in Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania and Guinea.

According to the agreement, China will provide Ghana with up to four experts, 47 field technicians and one interpreter in a phased manner. China will "provide the most appropriate technology, material and equipment to maximize technical cooperation in the various fields" such as water and "to improve living conditions of the poor and the vulnerable groups in rural areas."

In Ghana, SPFS activities are aimed at diversifying agricultural production and improving food security in a progressive way. The SPFS is designed to reduce incidences of malnutrition and, in Ghana, it specifically focuses on water control, increasing production and productivity of crops and agricultural diversification. Livestock and aquaculture development will be introduced.

According to FAO, South-South Cooperation under the SPFS provides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation among developing countries at different stages of development with the support of interested donor countries and FAO. The initiative helps countries benefit from the experience and expertise of more advanced developing countries. FAO launched the South-South Cooperation Scheme at the beginning of 1997.

The Special Programme for Food Security is operational in 60 countries - 36 in Africa, 13 in Asia and the Near East, 7 in Latin-America, 2 in Europe, and 2 in Oceania. In 18 LIFDCs, the SPFS is in various stages of formulation.

The agreement was signed at FAO headquarters by Ms. Aanaa Naamua Enin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to FAO, Mr. Qu Liang, the Permanent Representative of the Peoples's Republic of China to FAO and Minister Plenipotentiary and Mr. Henri Carsalade, Assistant Director-General of FAO's Technical Cooperation Department.


To learn more about FAO's Special Programme on Food Security and "South-South" cooperation, please visit the FAO web site at:

Contact: John Riddle, Media Officer
Telephone: (39) 06 57 05 32 59

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