FAO and China forge strategic alliance to improve food security in developing countries
Around 3 000 Chinese experts and technicians will share their skills
18 May 2006, Rome/Jakarta – The Government of China expressed its 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, under an agreement signed today with FAO.
This FAO-China collaboration 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 practical expertise in irrigation, agronomy, livestock, fisheries, post-harvest handling and other fields, will be gradually deployed for three-year assignments over a total period of six years. The recipient countries will be jointly selected from a list of potential beneficiaries provided by FAO.
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.
“Chinese science and agriculture have much to offer, as intensive agriculture has been practiced on very small plots of land in China for centuries,” said Tesfai Tecle, FAO Assistant Director-General for Technical Cooperation. “The Government of China has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to helping other countries improve their food security, which represents a major contribution towards the achievement of the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals of halving hunger by 2015.”
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.
Today, more than 100 countries are participating in the SPFS, with more than 600 South-South Cooperation experts and technicians working with rural communities in over 30 countries.
Costs are shared between donor and recipient countries, funding institutions or third donor countries and FAO. In addition to personnel, the Government of China will also provide inputs, tools and equipment for the technologies being introduced by its experts.
The letter of intent was signed by FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf and Chinese Vice Minister for Agriculture Mr Zhang Baowen during FAO’s Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Jakarta, Indonesia. Within the framework of this strategic partnership, specific tripartite agreements corresponding to local requirements will be formulated for each beneficiary country.
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