Montag, 24.06.2019 22:23 Uhr

EU-China Young farmers Exchange Program

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 02.01.2019, 09:34 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 3637x gelesen

Rome [ENA] China has changed its position from being a traditional recipient of overseas development assistance to the status of a strategic partner with whom the European Union takes part in a wide range of policy issues. Progressively, the country became an important source of aid for other developing countries. The European Consensus on Development outlined that the European Union aims to engage more closely with China as

part of a new partnership towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. This commitment has been confirmed at the highest political levels, including the 20th EU-China Summit in July 2018, where the European Union and China decided to "promote mutual understanding and share experience on international development cooperation through enhanced exchanges, and make joint efforts to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda". At the ASEM Summit meeting in Brussels in October 2018, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed to aim towards generating additional synergies between China's Belt and Road Initiative and the EU's strategy to improve connectivity between Europe and Asia,

which was presented in September 2018. In recent years, China has seen sustained high levels of economic growth. Incomes have risen, the numbers of people in poverty have fallen spectacularly, and progress has been made towards the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Anyhow disparities of income among China’s 1.3 billion population remain. Serious environmental degradation adds to the population’s vulnerability. Nevertheless, the EU's interest to work with China on sustainable development and connectivity has been corroborated also in the field of agricultural and rural development, such as diversity of agriculture, pedo-climatic regions, natural environment, cultural traditions and socio-economic status, rural population ageing,

difference between urban and rural developments. The EU and China face similar challenges, both sides have a common interest to deepen their cooperation and promote common policies and support measures to face these challenges. They also recognize the importance of the role of young farmers in maintaining the vitality of rural areas and promoting a more sustainable, competitive and modern agriculture. On 10 December 2018, the European Union and China held in Beijing the final event of the EU-China Young farmers Exchange Programme, which last for 18 months. This exchange program for young farmers and young professionals in agriculture represented an excellent example of the comprehensive nature of the EU-China cooperation and touched upon

several aspects of sustainable agriculture such as organic food, waste management, the use of pesticides and fertilisers but also on aspects linked to access to credit and land, mechanisation or farmers' cooperatives. A joint report, which describes the program and possible ways forward was released. The main goal of the program was to increase the cooperation on this essential policy area of young farmers today and to encourage the next generation of young farmers and rural entrepreneurs to create a food and farming sector fit for the 21st century.

Four groups of very enthusiastic young farmers from both sides had the chance to travel in other's region and increase their familiarity and understanding of what are two of the major agricultural economies worldwide which need to fasten their links and work together on common challenges. This action is fully embedded in the “EU-China Cooperation Plan in Agriculture and Rural Development” signed by the EU/DG AGRI and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), safeguarding the EU-China cooperation in agriculture, encouraging the exchange and cooperation on topics like food security, climate change and rural development.

It fits well within the framework of sector cooperation between the EU and China in agriculture and rural development where food security, modern farming, sustainable agricultural production, good environmental practices are the main subjects of discussion and exchange during the EU-China Annual Dialogue on agriculture. In a meeting between Commissioner Mimica and the Chairman of the newly-established China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Wang Xiaotao, both sides agreed to seek synergies and concrete areas of cooperation to enhance EU–China development cooperation. The meeting confirmed both parties' commitment to jointly promote sustainable development.

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