Since 2021, after the victory in poverty alleviation, the focus of China's "three rural" work has undergone a historic shift, and it has begun to comprehensively promote rural revitalization.

2022 is the second year of comprehensively promoting rural revitalization. On February 22, the central government released the 19th Central No. 1 document guiding the work of "agriculture, rural areas and farmers" since the 21st century - "The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council". Opinions on Doing a Good Job in Comprehensively Promoting the Key Work of Rural Revitalization in 2022 (hereinafter referred to as the "Opinions").

  A few days ago, Carlos Watson, the representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in China, said in an exclusive interview with China Business News that the Chinese government's strategic deployment of rural revitalization coincides with the transformation of the global agricultural food system.

At the same time, the digital development opportunities faced by today's agricultural development is one of the distinctive features of China's rural revitalization strategy.

Coinciding with the transformation of agri-food systems around the world

Yicai:

From the perspective of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, how do you view China's rural revitalization strategy from 2021?

Wen Kangnong:

As the world's largest developing country and a major agricultural country, China has always attached great importance to the "three rural" issues.

  Since the beginning of the new millennium, 19 consecutive No. 1 documents of the central government have continued to focus on issues related to the "agriculture, rural areas and farmers".

From developing modern agriculture to improving comprehensive agricultural production capacity and increasing farmers’ income; from deepening rural reform to adapting to the new normal and deepening the structural reform of the agricultural supply side; from coordinated urban and rural development, to new rural construction, and then to rural revitalization, China The government has put forward targeted development plans for "agriculture, rural areas and farmers" at different historical stages in light of its own national conditions.

  Implementing the rural revitalization strategy is the guiding strategy for the development of China's "agriculture, rural areas and farmers" in the new era.

The rural revitalization strategy adheres to the priority development of agriculture and rural areas, and gradually achieves the comprehensive revitalization of the countryside in 2050 in steps and stages, so as to fully realize the strong agriculture, beautiful rural areas, and rich farmers.

In 2021, China's first law directly named after "rural revitalization", "Rural Revitalization Promotion Law", will be promulgated and implemented, making rural revitalization a law to follow.

  The Chinese government's strategic deployment of rural revitalization coincides with the transformation of the global agricultural and food system.

Globally, uncertain risks such as population growth, urbanization, scarcity and degradation of natural resources, climate change, increased geopolitical instability and conflict, and pandemics are posing enormous challenges and tests to agri-food systems.

In 2020, as many as 811 million people worldwide are at risk of hunger.

Agri-food systems urgently need transformation to achieve and secure food and nutrition security.

  To this end, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has proposed the Strategic Framework 2022-2031 to fully support the realization of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, promote the transformation of agri-food systems, and achieve better food systems through sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems. Better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life ("four betters"), thus fulfilling the desire to leave no one behind.

  The "Four Betters" of the UNFAO strategic framework and the overall requirements of China's rural revitalization on "prosperous industries, livable ecology, civilized rural customs, effective governance, and prosperous life" have many common focus points.

  Based on this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Chinese government proposed the "Country Planning Framework 2021-2025" to strengthen cooperation in the following three key areas during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period: First, to promote the transformation of the food system and achieve better production and better nutrition for shared prosperity; the second is to strengthen the resilience of the food system to create a better environment and protect the planet; the third is to strengthen international and regional agricultural cooperation and partnerships to achieve a better life for all.

Digital Development Opportunities

for China's Rural Revitalization

Yicai:

In the world, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, South Korea and other countries have all experienced a similar stage of rural revitalization.

Judging from the development experience of these countries, what lessons can China provide for reference?

Wen Kangnong:

Historically, these countries have put forward similar rural revitalization and development policies such as the "New Village Movement", "Rural Development Plan" and "Rural Revitalization Movement" at different stages of their development.

Although the development paths of different countries are different, continuous improvement of agricultural production efficiency, further coordinated development of urban and rural areas, and better rural revitalization have become common concerns and actions in the development of industrialization and urbanization in various countries.

  Continuously improve rural infrastructure construction, increase scientific and technological innovation and investment, improve agricultural industry management policies, promote agricultural legislation, adhere to participatory agricultural zoning and rural governance, promote professional farmers' education, expand farmers' income increase channels, and promote reasonable agricultural subsidies and agricultural insurance A series of measures and policies that are conducive to the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas are reflected in the rural revitalization of various countries.

These policies are also reflected in the implementation of China's "Three Rural" policy and rural revitalization strategy.

  The implementation of China's rural revitalization strategy is also very different from similar rural revitalization campaigns in other countries.

In addition to different development stages and national conditions, the digital development opportunities faced by today's agricultural development is one of the distinctive features of China's rural revitalization strategy.

In the outline of the "14th Five-Year Plan", China has clearly proposed to accelerate the construction of digital villages, build a comprehensive information service system for agriculture and rural areas, establish an inclusive service mechanism for agriculture-related information, and promote the digitization of rural management services.

  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations attaches great importance to the new development opportunities brought by digitalization to agriculture, and calls for curbing and bridging the digital divide.

  To this end, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is promoting the "Digital Thousand Villages" action plan around the world, and is committed to building 1,000 villages around the world into digital hubs to support the sustainable development of the agricultural food system through digital agriculture, digital services for farmers, and digital transformation of rural areas.

Agricultural digitalization is one of the key areas of cooperation between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Chinese government.

The two sides are working together to exchange and share the experience and cases of China's digital village construction in the Asia-Pacific region and even the world.

The key to the development of farmers' cooperatives

Yicai:

Cooperatives play an important organizational role in agricultural production and have successful practices around the world.

From the perspective of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, how do you view the current cooperative practice in China?

Through relevant global practices, what suggestions do you have for the development of cooperatives in China?

Wen Kang Nong:

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization believes that in many countries, most food crops are produced by small farmers, who generally lack access to the market to sell their products, lack of bargaining power and financial services.

Agricultural cooperatives can help smallholder farmers overcome these constraints and play an important role in job creation, poverty reduction, improved food security, and economic growth.

  China has taken a series of relevant measures in terms of laws and regulations, finance and taxation, infrastructure construction, financial credit services, sales market expansion, and talent training. The development of farmers' cooperatives.

In 2021, there will be 2.2 million farmer cooperatives; among them, a total of 720,000 farmer cooperatives will be developed in poverty-stricken areas, playing an important role in preventing the return to poverty and revitalizing the rural economy.

  From the perspective of global practice, one of the keys to the development of farmers' cooperatives is the leader and chairman of the board.

Carrying out capacity building for directors of cooperatives will help promote the sustainable development of cooperatives.

Through the "United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Demonstration Village" project, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations selected four poverty-stricken villages in each of Longshan County of Hunan Province, Laifeng County of Hubei Province, Meigu County of Sichuan Province, and Baisha County of Hainan Province to pilot the "Internet + "Agriculture + Finance" innovative model, carry out farmer field school training for grass-roots counselors, etc., so that the directors of cooperatives can understand the latest laws, regulations and policies, improve the quality of planting and breeding, enhance the brand and market awareness of agricultural products, and learn related financing and insurance skills, etc. .

  At the same time, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization actively supports the Mengdingshan Farmers' Cooperative Development Training Institute initiated by the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, sharing the best practices of farmers' cooperatives in other countries, conducting international exchanges, and sharing China's innovative models in the field of farmers' cooperative development.

In the future, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will continue to strengthen cooperation with China in the field of farmers' cooperatives, further develop the potential of farmers' cooperatives, and promote the realization of rural revitalization and sustainable development.

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