A focus on building capacity for stronger value chains and trade links, as part of the overall mission to improve global food security, was high on the agenda at CABI’s Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation held in Beijing, China.

The meeting, hosted by the Chinese government through the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), was the opportunity for CABI’s member countries* and partners to hear how CABI is progressing towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its Medium Term Strategy 2017-2019.

Delegates were updated on how CABI is working in collaboration with member countries and partners to help increase agricultural productivity, add value, improve access to markets, diversify rural economies and increase rural household incomes through stronger value chains and trade links.

Mr Roger Horton, Chair of the CABI Board, said, ‘It was particularly fitting that the meeting was held in Beijing which gave us the opportunity to celebrate significant milestones in our collaboration. This includes the excellent work of the CABI-China Joint Laboratory for Bio-safety, which has reached its 10th anniversary this year.

‘Other important Chinese initiatives, such as The Belt & Road and ‘Chinese Agricultural Technology Going Global,’ also present us with future opportunities for multi-lateral collaboration, particularly among CABI’s member countries.’

Dr Tang Shengyao, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation at MARA, who is also CABI Executive Council member for China, opened the meeting. Professor Tang Huajun, Member of CPC Group of MARA and President of CAAS delivered a welcome address.

Professor Tang Huajun, President of CAAS and Member of the Leading Party Group of MARA, said, ‘Both industrial and developing countries are facing challenges associated with climate change uncertainties, international trade conflict, malnutrition, global food insecurity and poverty alleviation. International collaboration, especially agricultural collaboration, has therefore become more important than ever in term of research, trade, and the use of resources.

‘China looks forward to working more closely with CABI and its Asia-Pacific member countries to jointly address the major challenges in regional and global agricultural development for a sustainable future through multi-lateral cooperation.’

The outcomes of the Regional Consultation will feed into the next CABI Review Conference, scheduled for September 2019, and guide the revisions of CABI’s Medium-Term Strategy 2020-2022.

Dr Trevor Nicholls, CABI CEO, said, ‘We greatly appreciated the contribution and feedback of member countries to the development of our strategy to help smallholders produce high quality agricultural products and improve livelihoods as they contribute to the increasing global demand for quality food.

‘It is important that we work collaboratively to build the productivity, sustainability and climate-resilience of smallholder farming systems, as well as increasing the involvement of women and youth in the associated value chains so as to secure food supply through vibrant rural communities.’

The Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation, which was attended by over 100 delegates – including some 60 from 12 CABI member countries as well as many international, regional and Chinese partners, followed a recent CABI Americas and Caribbean consultation. The next meeting of members and partners will be the African Regional Consultation in Botswana from 26-28 February 2019.

Additional information

*Member countries within the Asia-Pacific region include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, DPR Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka.

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