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Int'l Cooperation Update

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The 5th Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists Successfully Held in Xi’an

Source: Department of International Cooperation

On May 30-31, the 5th Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) was held in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province of China, which was sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and co-organized by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Agriculture of Shaanxi province. Vice Minister of Agriculture, President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Dr. Li Jiayang, and Vice Governor of Shaanxi Province, Mr. Feng Xinzhu, attended the opening ceremony and delivered welcome speeches. Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Dr. Wu Kongming chaired the meeting. Over 100 Representatives from 18 G20 member countries, 4 invited countries and 9 International Organizations participated in the meeting. The 5th MACS was the first event of the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting’s series meetings as China’s presidency in 2016.

In his speech, Li Jiayang pointed out that the food is the survival of mankind, agriculture is the foundation of economic development. Agricultural science and technology has played a vital role in agricultural development in China. Global food security needs joint efforts of the whole international community to be addressed. China is willing to take this meeting as an opportunity to further strengthen collaborations in agricultural science and technology with G20 member countries and international organizations to cope with the challenges such as climate change, soil degradation, water resource shortage, environment pollution, energy scarcity, population growth, so as to promote the development of global agriculture and make greater contributions to the world food security.

Within the two days meeting, with the theme “Agricultural Technology Innovation and Knowledge Sharing”, delegates shared their successful experiences and visions on agricultural technology innovation and knowledge sharing. The progress of the initiatives and working groups under the G20 framework related to agricultural science and technology were presented, and opportunities and visions on how to strengthen the collaboration on technology innovation and knowledge sharing within the G20 mechanism were intensively discussed. Based on a broad consensus, the outcome document -- Communiqué of the 5th Meeting of G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists-- was agreed, which outlines the blueprint for the G20 to further strengthen the coordination and collaboration in agricultural science and technology for the next steps.

Some key points were underlined in the Communiqué, including reaffirmation on active support to the development of Global Research Collaboration Platforms (GRCPs) ,and consensus on establishing a working group, led by the troika, to develop a proposal on GRCPs’ principles and a proposal to set up a specific MACS website providing transparent access to MACS documents and reports, as well as setting up a working group on Agricultural Technology Sharing (ATS), led by China, to map and analyze strengths and weaknesses of existing knowledge and information sharing mechanisms as well as to develop a proposal. The Communiqué calls upon G20 members to strengthen cooperation and capitalize on relevant mechanisms of Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST) and the Global Conferences on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD), so as to increase exchanges in the innovation of agricultural practices, technologies, policies and mechanisms, and to share relevant policy experience and successful practices. All of those issues have been endorsed and supported by the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting which was held on June 3 in Xi’an.

By Zhai Lin
Zhailin@caas.cn