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China to send ag and aquaculture experts to Pacific island countries

China will send 36 experts and technicians specialized in agronomy, irrigation, livestock and fisheries, to eight Pacific Island nations as part of FAO program

July 12, 2004

China will send 36 agricultural experts and technicians specialized in agronomy, irrigation, livestock and fisheries, to eight Pacific Island nations, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today.

The initiative is part of FAO's South-South Cooperation Program that aims to strengthen cooperation among developing countries to improve agricultural productivity and ensure access to food for all.

This agreement, signed early this week, will benefit farmers in the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

This initiative is part of a broader program to boost food security in the Pacific region which the Government of Italy has supported with a $4.5 million grant.
 
Four regional experts will be based in Samoa, and 32 field technicians -- four for each country -- will work alongside local experts over a two-year period.

The Chinese will work on projects to improve water management, increase crop and small animal production and promote aquaculture and artisanal fisheries.

China has already sent experts to Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Mauritania under the South-South Cooperation Program. In Nigeria, 340 Chinese experts and technicians are currently working in 36 states assisting around 23,000 rural households.

Special Program for Food Security 
The South-South Cooperation Program is part of FAO's Special Program for Food Security (SPFS). The SPFS aims to improve the food security situation of some of the world's poorest countries by rapidly increasing food production, improving people's access to food and reducing their vulnerability to climatic events such as drought and floods.

Today, the Special Program for Food Security is operational in 100 countries.

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