Foreign experts gave valuable advice on Chinese agriculture, in the post-World Trade Organization (WTO) environment, during the Jiangsu International Agricultural Symposium and Project Promotional Exposition.
The event, the first of its kind following China's accession into the WTO, ran here from Thursday to Saturday. It attracted more than 4,000 Chinese business people and over 500 people from 28 countries and regions.
Eighteen experts and scholars from abroad, including the United States, Germany, Australia and Canada, were invited to deliver speeches on the development of Chinese agriculture.
Michel S. Paggi, director of the Department of Agricultural Economics at California State University, predicted that China would focus more and more on labor-intensive products.
"Labor-intensive commodities account for a major part of exports and the amount will increase rapidly," he said, "which is the trend of agricultural trade development in China."
Paggi said agriculture production could be divided into three areas: labor-intensive products, land-intensive products and products which need labor, land and capital.
China, he said, has great advantages in the production of labor-intensive products. Take fresh tomatoes for example, it only costs 5 US cents to grow a kilogram of tomatoes in China as opposed 40 US cents in California.
But for processed tomatoes that not only need labor, land and capital, but also science and technology, it costs 6 US cents to produce a kilogram in China, but only 3 US cents in California.
Therefore, Paggi suggested, Chinese farmers should give full play to their advantages and increase technical competence in the long run.
(China Daily October 28, 2002)