KAMPALA – The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Dr. QU Dongyu, has expressed gratitude to the Government of Uganda for graciously hosting the high-level event, celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme and addressing Future Perspectives for South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
Mr. Abebe Haile-Gabriel, FAO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa read out the message at the opening on Monday, November 25, 2019, of a three-day event in Kampala, Uganda, marking the 10th Anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme and Triangular Cooperation.
He said that fruitful achievements accomplished during the past decade, accomplishments that fill him with optimism for the future of South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable agriculture and rural development.
Over the last ten years, he revealed that the FAO-China SSC Programme has achieved substantial results in host countries, notably increased agricultural productivity, improved rural livelihoods, enhanced food security, and nutrition, strengthened local capacities and greater engagement of rural women and youth.
Key among the achievements in the last ten years, he pointed out that more than 70 000 farmers have directly benefitted from national, regional, inter-regional and global projects; 1 300 training events have been conducted in the field; while 100 member states have participated in high-level capacity development activities.
Dr. Dongyu r noted that building on the success of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme, “we look forward to continued cooperation and expanding our strategic partnerships in an inclusive manner to implement high-impact South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives.”
President Yoweri Museveni will be a special guest at the event on 26 November at anniversary celebrations that have attracted more than 200 delegates from over 40 countries, including agriculture ministers from SSC participating countries.
South-South (SSC) and Triangular Cooperation – involving third countries and other partners – is based on solidarity, and has proven effective in creating jobs, building infrastructure and promoting trade while offering a complementary model to the traditional relationship between donors and recipients.
FAO has played a pioneering role in championing South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and in the past two decades more than $370 million has been invested in related projects and activities, and more than 2000 experts and technicians have been deployed worldwide. Currently, FAO has approximately 40 such projects in over 90 host countries, including Uganda.
Officials and experts gathered at the Kampala event to discuss the results, innovations, and lessons learned from the first 10 years of the FAO-China SSC Programme and to develop a new vision for the future. The digitalization of agriculture and the use of digital platforms to assist farmers and producers are a priority as well as financial services to help the rural poor increase their incomes and move out of poverty in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals.
On his part, Abebe Haile-Gabriel said it was critical to attract greater private sector investment and generate more involvement from developed and developing countries.
“Impact can be achieved at scale only when national governments, both in recipient and provider countries, have the capacity to identify, map, document and disseminate good practices,” he said.
He said FAO had also set an ambitious target of creating up to 200 partnerships with academic and research institutions to foster technical exchanges and capacity-building.