BEIJING, Oct 29 (APP): Secretary-General Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Vladimir Norov Thursday said that today food security and sources of livelihood for millions of people all over the world depended on the efficiency of agricultural production and international food trade.
“The SCO countries, where rural population accounts for 52.6 percent, or 1.7 billion people, have faced a number of pandemic-related problems involved in agricultural production and producer-to-consumer transportation,” he said while addressing a roundtable: Agricultural Produce Trade and Transborder Trade, held as part of the 27th China Yangling Agricultural Hi-Tech Fair.
The ministries and agencies from Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia and Cambodia were attended the meeting, according to SCO Secretariat here.
In his address, Vladimir Norov noted the pandemic-related difficult situation in the world and its negative impact on states’ socioeconomic development and food security in particular.
“A green corridor needs to be created for freight transit to ensure unimpeded agricultural and food exports and imports.
In this context, states must focus on drafting legal instruments designed to harmonise sanitary and phytosanitary standards and requirements; deal with the certification and customs barriers; and create a network of product inspectorates to take care of testing and certification in the SCO countries,” Vladimir Norov stressed.
World trade in the COVID-19 environment has promoted the development of digital economy and e-commerce, taking the transborder e-trade in food to the highest level ever.
Currently, digital economy accounts for about 20 percent of world trade and is likely to grow to 25 percent by 2025. In this connection, the Secretary-General suggested devising an SCO cooperation programme based on China’s record of promoting transborder e-trade as a whole.
It is important to hold practical exchanges, consultations and training workshops aimed at finding and introducing innovative solutions, enhancing the SCO’s export potential, and entering each other’s markets.
In this context, Vladimir Norov mentioned the meeting of the SCO agriculture ministers held on 21 October 2020, which endorsed China’s initiative to establish an SCO demonstration centre in Yangling to exchange and train agricultural know-how.
Commenting on its prospects, Secretary-General Norov expressed certainty that “it will be of much help for the further development of modern smart agriculture and, most importantly, to digitalising agriculture, establishing agriculture clusters and agro-parks, producing environmentally friendly and organic products, rational use of water resources, introducing advanced technologies in this area, and training and retraining specialists.”
He also noted the importance of the SCO countries’ practical collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), expressing certainty that the pooling of SCO efforts with the FAO potential will provide an additional impetus to the development of the SCO’s innovative agriculture.
Participants in the roundtable discussion also came up with proposals on promoting agricultural cooperation and exchanging views on all aspects of modern agricultural development.