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China, Russia Should Improve Agricultural Cooperation
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China and Russia should make great efforts to upgrade their agricultural cooperation to safeguard the crop safety for the two nations, experts said.


China and Russia are rich in agricultural resources and there remain great cooperation potentials between the two countries, said Zhang Guangcui from northeastern Asia research center of Jilin University, pointing out that the bilateral cooperation is still at a preliminary stage so far.


The three provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Harbin in northeast China are one of the country's main crop production bases.


Some experts say that the gross crop output in this region will reach about 118 billion kilograms by 2020.


As a matter of fact, northeast China provinces have already become the most important crop supply bases for Russia, Zhang said.


A huge amount of vegetables are exported from China to Russia through the Suifenhe Port every year and the city of Tongjiang, Heilongjiang Province, has already established three crop sale stations in Russia since 1999.


Apart from the agricultural products trade, China and Russia have also established cooperative relationship in agriculture-related research.


Many colleges in northeast China have started their exchange programs years ago with their Russian counterparts.


The land and resources department in Heilongjiang signed an agreement with the agricultural department of Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region in June, 2004 and the province rented 70,000 hectares of farmland in the area for agricultural research.


However, many experts still hold that the Sino-Russian agricultural cooperation is still at an initial stage.


Wang Shengjin, an expert in northeastern Asia affairs from Jilin University, said the current agricultural cooperation between the two nations are merely limited in the trade of primary agricultural products and the development of the resources.


"The Sino-Russian agricultural cooperation only exists between local governments, companies, nongovernmental organizations and research institutions," Wang said, stressing that the central governments of the both countries should pay full attention to the cooperation.


Wang said the prerequisite of a good cooperation is a highly coordination of the related policies from the both nations.


Both China and Russia should make endeavors to reduce trade barriers and promote liberalization and facilitation of the agricultural products trade.


(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2006)


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