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Sino-EU Agricultural Cooperation Launched
North China's Hebei province and five European Union (EU) member nations have signed an agreement on agricultural cooperation in the next 10 years, said a source from the provincial government in Shijiazhuang Monday.

Hebei province and Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will work together in the fields of farming technology, investment, farm produce, personnel and information during the next decade, according to the recent agreement.

It proposes that a support system for agricultural production, industrialized crop growing and live stock breeding in the five nations will be introduced into Hebei on a trial basis.

Hebei will also import improved varieties of crops, trees, farm animals and fish, agricultural equipment, farming machinery, and processing, cool stores and packaging technology from the five countries, to upgrade the province's agricultural production capacity and byproduct processing.

The two parties will also exchange agricultural operational and management personnel and technicians. They will set up joint agricultural ventures and an agricultural information network.

Agronomists and other related experts in Hebei province held that the cooperation was expected to beef up Hebei's agricultural growth, boost the quality of local farm produce and make it easier for the produce to compete on the world market.

Hebei has previously introduced a range of agricultural technology from France and Italy. Fresh vegetables and fruits grown with the imported technology have already been exported to Japan and some Southeast Asian countries.

(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2002)

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