Promoting Agricultural Development and Cooperation
China Today (English)|May 2021
— An Interview with FAO Representative to China Carlos Watson
LU JIAJUN

DESPITE the rampant COVID-19 worldwide, as the country has effectively brought it under control, China recently declared its decisive success in eradicating extreme poverty. The next focus of the Chinese government is rural revitalization, which aims to bring works relating to agriculture, rural areas, and rural people to a higher level.

As a major supporter of China’s rural revitalization drive, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in China has been on the move to contribute its part by cooperating with the Chinese government. Meanwhile, through its partnership with the FAO, China has been quite active to provide its assistance to many developing countries in the agriculture field. After China launched its 14th Five-Year Plan, there has been a positive outlook toward China’s agricultural development and its cooperation with the rest of the world in agriculture.

China Today interviewed FAO representative to China Carlos Watson, who shared his views on a wide range of topics, including cooperation with China, China’s contribution to the global agricultural development, sustainable development in rural areas, and challenges for global food security and agricultural development.

China Today: Since its establishment in 2009, the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Program has benefited lots of people in Africa and Asia. A project in Cape Verde was recently launched. What support and promotion did the FAO raise for the project?

Carlos Watson: This February, the FAO-China South- South Cooperation (SSC) Program contributed US $1.5 million to launch its 16th national level project in the Republic of Cape Verde, focusing on capacity development for production systems to enhance food and nutrition security in the country.

This three-year project was jointly identified and formulated by the FAO, the government of Cape Verde, and the government of China. It will assist the Cape Verde government in undertaking capacity development activities at all levels, through different modalities such as study tours to China and field training in Cape Verde. Specific priority areas to be supported by the Chinese experts and technicians during this three-year project include agricultural production, pest control, livestock, and seaweed aquaculture.

China Today: Last year, the FAO and Zhejiang University jointly held a forum on the digital transformation of rural areas. What do you think about the digital development in China’s rural areas? Has the FAO planned any activity to promote digital transformation in China’s rural areas?

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