China calls for international cooperation to promote green agricultural development

CHENGDU (Xinhua) – Chinese agricultural officials and scientists called for strengthening international cooperation to push forward green development in the agricultural industry and rural regions through the advancement of science and technology.

At the 6th Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST), in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the Director-General of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization Qu Dongyu said the world is facing mounting challenges including persistent difficulties in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, the impacts of climate change, resource depletion and environmental pollution, and growing risks of trans-boundary animal diseases and plant pests.

Qu said agriculture will need to feed 10 billion people globally by the middle of this century, up from 7.7 billion today.

“We need to urgently act and move toward sustainable agriculture that produces food that is nutritious, safe and accessible to all while nurturing healthy ecosystems and supporting the sustainable management of natural resources,” Qu said.

He said that science, technology and innovation are fundamental for achieving the sustainable development goals and science-based knowledge should be an integral part of all national sustainable development strategies. In this regard, China has set a remarkable example battling unsustainable agriculture, through policy incentives backed up by scientific results obtained in pilot projects, Qu said.

Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Zhang Taolin said green development has been high on China’s agenda for its rural revitalisation strategy and the modernisation programme for agriculture and rural areas.

He said the Chinese government and research institutions will double their efforts to achieve breakthroughs in areas such as the technical equipment and models for water-saving irrigation and the highly efficient use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, so as to shift agricultural research and technology from being production-oriented to green and efficiency-oriented, to realise high yields, high quality, high efficiency and multifunctional development of agriculture.

China is willing to share its experience and models in the green development of agriculture, and strengthen its R&D cooperation with other countries, Zhang added.

President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) Tang Huajun said the challenges facing global agriculture are interrelated and require comprehensive policies at the national level and coordination and cooperation at the global level.