The MARA applauded the accomplishments in International Cooperation over the past year.
Despite of the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 and complex international landscape, breakthroughs were made in agricultural foreign trade with a multitude of highlights in multilateral and bilateral cooperation in 2000.
Assistance in fighting locusts and beating COVID-19:
In early 2020, desert locusts swarmed across Pakistan and some African countries. The locust infestations, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, severely threatened food security in the affected countries. The MARA fielded a team of experts to Pakistan for field study, and the team hammered out solutions to contain the locust plague and provided training on pest control. The MARA donated pesticides and equipment to Pakistan for locust control after coordinating with relevant Chinese pesticides manufacturers and other enterprises. Moreover, an agreement was inked between China with Pakistan, under which a center for sustainable management of crop pests and diseases was established in Pakistan.
In a gesture of great generosity, MARA, together with the Yangling Agricultural High-tech Industrial Demonstration Zone, donated medical supplies to the agricultural ministries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states to help contain COVID-19.
Holding of the International Tea Day and other events:
The UN designated May 21 as International Tea Day. Despite of the COVID-19, the MARA held various events to celebrate the first observance of the International Tea Day, in conjunction with the People’s Government of Zhejiang Province and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Agricultural Ministers of the Republic of Korea, Vietnam and Argentina sent congratulatory videos to MARA. More than 200 celebration activities were held nationwide and 18 major tea-producing poverty-stricken counties arranged local tea promotion and sale via livestreaming. With more than 12 million people around the world participating in the event, the celebration of International Tea Day successfully enhanced global recognition of the value of Chinese tea.
The MARA participated in the G20 Extraordinary Agriculture Ministers Meeting, the 10th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, the 35th session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific and other agriculture-related events, sharing with the international community its experience in combating COVID-19 and maintaining food security in China, voicing its steadfast support for multilateral cooperation on agriculture.
For the above accomplishments, the MARA adopted multiple approaches to keep agricultural foreign trade stable and assist China’s agribusinesses in going global amid COVID-19.
Keeping agricultural foreign trade stable. Earlier this year, the delivery of some competitive agricultural exports, such as aquatic products, was delayed due to COVID-19. Orders from overseas clients were cancelled as the pandemic raged across the globe. In response, MARA launched a nationwide program to build agricultural produce clusters for quality agricultural trade. Moreover, the MARA held a series of agricultural expositions, both online and offline ones, including the China Potato Expo 2020 and the 2020 China International Food Ingredients Expo. The MARA also facilitated the increase of items for export tax rebates for more agricultural products. As a result, exports of some agricultural products such as tea, fruits and aquatic products emerged growth despite of COVID-19.
Assisting agribusinesses in going global amid COVID-19. Labor shortage during the spring planting was addressed by the China-Russia agricultural cooperation mechanism. A direct information reporting system for foreign trade and investment was established, as part of the efforts to provide guidance to business resumption. Trade fair and investment events were held virtually to help expand business activities.