China has made contributions to the world's food security by lending a hand to countries in need in recent years, according to official sources.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period, China sent 225 agricultural experts to 23 African countries, promoted the transfer of 428 agricultural technologies and held training sessions for more than 11,000 agricultural officials and technicians from overseas, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a document answering questions from China Daily recently.
"In spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic since last year, China has dispatched nine groups of agricultural experts to eight African countries, including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to pass on innovative technologies on animal husbandry, aquaculture, water conservancy, horticulture, silkworm breeding and mulberry growing," the ministry said.
The ministry added that these Chinese experts have also helped build ties between China's and the respective countries' agricultural departments, enterprises and research institutes, with 34 of the experts being awarded outstanding contribution prizes by the countries they've been working with over the past year.
China has always prioritized agricultural development and food security in its cooperation with African countries, said a white paper released by the State Council Information Office in 2019.
By 2016, the country had provided assistance to more than 50 African countries in implementing nearly 500 agricultural programs, including complete projects, technical support and material supply, in the areas of farming, food storage, agricultural machinery, farmland irrigation and agricultural product processing.
Though Africa was prioritized, such assistance was not confined to the continent. According to the white paper, since 1996 the Chinese government and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization have jointly implemented more than 20 multilateral South-South cooperation programs that have benefited developing countries, and sent 1,100 agricultural experts and technical personnel to around 30 countries and regions — not just in Africa, but also in Asia, the South Pacific and the Caribbean, accounting for 60 percent of the total number of personnel dispatched by the UNFAO.
"The Chinese government also supports competent food enterprises in going global, encouraging them to invest in agriculture in countries and regions where such investment is needed, and share with them technology and experience in food production, processing, storage, logistics and trade," the white paper said.
It also said that by the end of 2017, China had invested a total of $17.3 billion in agriculture overseas, with 851 enterprises operating in 100 countries and regions in six continents and employing 134,000 foreign employees.
"They have helped these countries and regions create more jobs, develop their economies and improve people's lives," the white paper said.
In addition, China has signed more than 120 bilateral and multilateral agreements on food and agriculture cooperation with over 60 countries and international organizations.
It has established exchanges in agricultural science and economic cooperation with over 140 countries and regions, and formed bilateral working groups on agricultural cooperation with more than 50 countries and regions.