Minister Tang Renjian addressed the 11th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development held virtually on Aug. 27, 2021.
In his speech, Minister Tang Renjian shared with BRICS members China’s major measures on and achievements in safeguarding food security, reducing poverty, and advancing agricultural mechanization. He also exchanged views with other participants on the conservation of agro-biodiversity, and put forward proposals for promoting global food security and deepening agricultural cooperation among BRICS countries.
Minister Tang Renjian stated that 2021 marks the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The past hundred years have witnessed historic change of Chinese farmers from being liberated to securing living subsistence to being lifted out of poverty and to achieving moderate prosperity in all respects. Particularly in recent years, China has successfully resolved the issue of feeding its 1.4 billion people, eliminated absolute poverty in rural areas, and promoted agricultural modernization.
Minister Tang Renjian emphasized that BRICS countries are all major producers and consumers of agricultural products, and thus play a crucial role in maintaining global food security. In recent years, China and BRICS countries have enhanced cooperation across all sectors of agriculture, enjoying rapid growth in agricultural trade, pragmatic cooperation in agricultural science and technology and remarkable outcomes in investment. By doing so, China-BRICS cooperation in agriculture has become a model of global agricultural cooperation.
Against the backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 and the impact on global agricultural production and supply chains, Minister Tang Renjian put forth the following proposals:
1. Fostering pragmatic cooperation to ensure food security. BRICS countries should set up an agricultural information exchange system for the sharing of information, knowledge, and technology, and improve the capacity for safeguarding the supply of food and other key agricultural products.
2. Facilitating agricultural trade and investment. BRICS countries should firmly uphold global trading regime with WTO rules at the center, enabling the liberalization and facilitation of agricultural trade and investment.
3. Strengthening the partnership and tapping the potential for cooperation. BRICS countries should seek further cooperation in areas such as agricultural emissions reduction and carbon sequestration, digital agriculture, and the conservation of agro-biodiversity in an innovative manner, and push for a “BRICS +” cooperation models, including multilevel cooperation with international organizations such as FAO, WHO.
The theme of the meeting was “BRICS Partnership for Strengthening Agro Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Security”. Minister Tang Renjian reiterated that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to the conservation of agro-biodiversity. China will continue to committing to the philosophy of “integrating protection and utilization” by strengthening the protection of germplasm, improving genetic diversity, conserving agricultural resource and restoring agro-biodiversity.
The meeting was chaired by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of India. The Joint Declaration of the 11th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, and the Action Plan for Agricultural Cooperation Among BRICS Countries (2021-2024) were adopted.
Vice Minister Ma Youxiang, Chief Economist Wei Baigang, and Chief Agronomist Zeng Yande joined the meeting.
Since 2021, China has adopted an integrated approach to covid-19 control and agricultural production, and has taken measures to alleviate the impact of major natural disasters. Its summer grain rose by 3.693 million tons, and China expects a bumper autumn harvest since autumn grain acreage has increased and crops are generally growing well.