The First Forum on China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation was convened in Sanya, Hainan Province, China on Dec. 9. The forum was jointly held by China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and the Hainan Provincial Government. Over 500 delegates from China and 39 African countries as well as nine international organizations attended the forum. Han Changfu, Minister of MARA, delivered a keynote speech at the forum, saying that China is willing to join African countries in implementing the agricultural achievements of eight major agricultural initiatives agreed upon by Chinese President Xi Jinping and the leaders of African countries during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China looks forward to deepening all-round agricultural cooperation with Africa and making greater contribution to the building of a closer community of shared future. Shen Xiaoming, Governor of Hainan, attended the forum and delivered a speech.
Minister Han said China and Africa for a long time have carried out all-round, multi-area and deep level agricultural cooperation and achieved fruitful results. From the year of 2000 to the year of 2018, agricultural trade between China and Africa increased from US$650 million to US$6.92 billion, an average annual increase of 14 percent. As of the end of 2018, the total investment stock by Chinese companies in Africa stood at more than CNY¥15 billion. Out of which, there were 115 projects with investment of each of the project reaching more than CNY¥5 million, covering more than two-thirds of African countries. China has conducted cooperation with agricultural research institutions from 12 African countries and established demonstration centers of agricultural technologies in 19 African countries, with annual personnel training nearly 10,000 person time. China has also implemented projects for South-South agricultural cooperation in 10 African countries and conducted over 300 activities for demonstration of agricultural technology, thus extending a large number of advanced and adaptive technologies and equipment.
Minister Han stressed that agricultural cooperation between China and Africa enjoys broader prospects in the new era. Such cooperation has huge potential in the areas of ensuring food security, enhancing governance of poverty-related programs, promoting scientific and technological innovation and the modernization of agriculture, and increasing the voice of developing countries in global food and agriculture governance, etc. China is willing to share its food production-related experience and practices. As part of its agricultural cooperation with Africa, China will focus on improving the comprehensive food production capabilities of African countries and support their efforts to basically achieve food security by 2030. Minister Han proposed that China and African countries proactively connect their strategic plans for agricultural development, improve agricultural cooperation mechanisms, strengthen exchanges in agricultural science and technology, expand economic and trade exchanges in agriculture, and enhance multilateral agricultural cooperation. Minister Han said that over the next three years, China will organize various types of training courses to help African countries train another 10,000 agricultural personnel, and China hopes to push Sino-African agricultural trade to top US$10 billion within a decade.
The forum approved the Sanya Declaration on China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation, and further built Sino-African consensus on agricultural cooperation. MARA signed memorandums of understanding on cooperation with the African Union Commission and the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) in Africa. Relevant government departments, international organizations, and research institutes as well as enterprises also signed 11 pragmatic cooperation agreements.
Zhang Taolin, Vice Minister of MARA, presided over the forum. The president of AGRA, several African ministers of agriculture and others delivered their speeches. Prior to the forum, Minister Han met in a group with all the heads of delegations.