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China to Push Forward South-South Agricultural Cooperation

China will continue to cooperate with developing countries in pushing forward South-South agricultural cooperation, said China's Ministry of Agriculture on Friday.

Lu Xiaoping, the deputy chief of the international cooperation department of the ministry, made the remarks at a news briefing on Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance at the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) scheduled for September 25 in New York.

"China is still a developing country. It has a common task with many developing countries in developing its domestic economy, improving the people's living standards and realizing the MDGs," said Lu.

He said China had established effective and pragmatic agricultural cooperative mechanisms with many developing countries. It aimed at promoting information-sharing, research cooperation and technology exchanges in the agricultural field.

"The Ministry of Agriculture has forged sound relations with many international agricultural organizations, financial institutes and developing countries," he said.

"In addition, China signed cooperative documents or memorandums on agriculture with more than 30 developing countries, which established the cooperative mechanism in the field."

Under the framework of the mechanism, China promoted cooperation with the governments of many developing countries on both policy and technology exchanges. They also coordinated with one another in international agricultural negotiations and enacting international rules on agriculture.

Lu said China had helped some of the developing countries to build agricultural technology demonstration centers and farms, which helped them to share China's successful experience and practical technology.

"China carried through cooperation in the planting industry and the prevention of cross-border animal epidemic diseases," he said.

China had also played an active role in human resource exploration and management in the agricultural field, such as sending agricultural experts and technicians as well as holding training courses and seminars, which benefited thousands of people.

So far, China has sent nearly 1,000 agricultural experts and technicians to more than 20 countries. Regarding Ethiopia alone, China had sent about 300 agricultural teachers there in seven years, which benefited more than 30,000 local teachers.

Set in 2000, MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and improving maternal health, all by 2015.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2008)

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