​CIIE forum seeks solutions for global food security, rural revitalization

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 8, 2022
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Government officials and food company executives discussed methods for deepening cooperation in global food security and China's rural revitalization, at a forum held during the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Ma Youxiang, vice minister of China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), underlined that joint efforts are needed to tackle various problems and challenges in global food security and rural development as he delivered a keynote speech at the Parallel Session on Economic and Trade Cooperation for Global Food Security and Rural Revitalization of the Fifth Hongqiao International Economic Forum.

Ma Youxiang, vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, speaks at a parallel session of the Fifth Hongqiao International Economic Forum during the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), Nov. 5, 2022. [Photo courtesy of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs]

Ma said, "Currently, the world has entered a new period of turbulence and changes, and we are facing many new problems regarding global food security and rural construction."

"China has always been firm in managing its own affairs well, remains committed to expanding agricultural trade and deepening investment cooperation, pursues multilateralism and humanitarianism, promotes food security and rural revitalization with high-level economic and trade cooperation, and shares development opportunities with the world," Ma added.

China's grain production capacity has reached a new level, stabilizing at more than 650 million tonnes for seven consecutive years and ensuring food supply for its 1.4 billion people, Ma said.

"We won the critical battle against poverty, historically solved the problem of absolute poverty and made significant contributions to the cause of global poverty reduction. The modernization of agriculture and rural areas has made new progress … and the people's sense of happiness has been significantly improved," Ma noted.

He added that the MARA would develop high-level agricultural economic and trade cooperation with all parties. "We will strengthen dialogue and coordination to create a favorable international environment, we will strengthen economic and trade cooperation and maintain the resilience of the industrial chain and supply chain … and we will strengthen development cooperation and promote global sustainable development."

Data revealed at the forum showed the number of people affected by hunger globally increased to 828 million in 2021. Moreover, the global grain output is expected to decline by 1.7% in 2022/2023. Nearly 30% of the world's population lived in a state of food insecurity in 2021, according to a UN report released in July. The UN also estimated that almost 670 million people, or 8% of the world's population, will still be undernourished in 2030.

China has already helped. Since the beginning of this year, China has provided more than 30,000 tonnes of emergency humanitarian food aid to developing countries. Since 2016, it has provided emergency food aid to more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. China has carried out agricultural cooperation with more than 140 countries and regions, and promoted more than 1,000 agricultural technologies in developing countries.

Guo Tingting, vice commerce minister, said at the parallel session that China has always regarded food security as a top priority and is an essential contributor to global food security, an active promoter of international food cooperation, and a staunch defender of global food security governance. She stressed that maintaining food security requires the international community to join hands.

"With the joint efforts of all parties, the goal of eradicating hunger will surely be achieved," she appealed.

Guo Tingting, China's vice commerce minister, speaks at a parallel session of the Fifth Hongqiao International Economic Forum during the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), Nov. 5, 2022. [Photo courtesy of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs]

Ann Derwin, ambassador of Ireland to China, praised China's efforts to ensure food security and noted that food security affects at least 10% of the world's population. "All of us have an obligation to work together to solve this critical and complex problem."

The Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina, Juan José Bahillo, appeared via a video link and said Argentina was willing to deepen economic and trade cooperation with China, promote the building of a more fair, equitable and transparent international trading system under the framework of multilateralism, safeguard the common interests of developing countries, and promote global food security and rural revitalization. "The CIIE provides a good communication platform, which is conducive to reaching consensus at the international level and contributing to the sustainable development of global agriculture," he added.

Other guests at the parallel session, including top executives from international companies, also shared their insights.

Colm Rafferty, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China), said the chamber hopes to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese government and jointly discuss how the investments, technological advancements, and practical experiences of the U.S. could better support China's goals of rural revitalization and common prosperity.

Jerry Liu, president of Cargill China, proposed to invest 50 million yuan in the next five years to fulfill corporate responsibility, including promoting sustainable development, increasing farmers' income and other actions to help rural revitalization. "In the future, Cargill will use its global supply chain to work with China's partners to help meet China's demand for food, help China's agricultural and food industries connect with the global system, and continue to contribute to China's rural revitalization."

Luan Richeng, president of China Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO Corporation), a leading supplier of agricultural products in China, pledged his company would continue to deepen international food security cooperation, and contribute to building a robust, green and healthy global agricultural development pattern.

"Food security concerns sustainable development and the future of humanity, and is an important basis for building a human community with a shared future," he said.

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