Agriculture demonstration zone advances SCO cooperation
XI'AN -- Yangling, an agricultural hi-tech industrial demonstration zone in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has become a new platform for cooperation in agricultural technology and talent among the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Covering an area of about 135 square km, Yangling is located about 80 km to the west of Shaanxi's capital, Xi'an, where the ancient Silk Road started. The zone has witnessed deepening agricultural cooperation under the SCO framework over recent years.
The 27th China Yangling Agricultural Hi-tech Fair kicked off on Oct. 22 in the demonstration zone, exhibiting more than 9,000 latest scientific and technological achievements in the agricultural field and advanced practical technologies at home and abroad.
An SCO training and demonstration base for agricultural technology exchange was officially unveiled during the five-day fair. A ministerial-level conference of agriculture ministers from the member states and a round-table symposium on the development of modern agriculture in these states were also held, according to the organizers.
Speaking at the fair, Vladimir Imamovich Norov, secretary-general of the SCO, called the base a multilateral cooperation platform for the SCO member states that can provide samples for building intelligent agriculture systems and farms while promoting the application of water-efficient irrigation technologies and development of arid and semi-arid fields.
Several modern agricultural research and technology promotion and application platforms will be gradually established in the demonstration zone, benefiting SCO countries, according to the administrative committee of the demonstration zone.
Ming Tao, director of the international cooperation bureau of the committee, said training the technicians from the SCO member states is important for the cooperation. "Various resources, including experts from universities and enterprises, have been included in the cooperative training programs," Ming added.
Ten rounds of training courses on agricultural technology and management have already been provided with more than 200 trainees from SCO countries participating in the programs, official data showed.
Meanwhile, as of 2019, Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi has trained 286 students from SCO member states in more than 50 majors, such as crop genetics and breeding.
Yangling has also helped the SCO member states to build modern agricultural demonstration zones thanks to its advanced agricultural science, education and training resources.
In the China-Kazakhstan Modern Agriculture Innovation Park, a 200-hectare agriculture park in Kazakhstan's Almaty region, experts from Yangling have planted 24 varieties of crops, including wheat, corn, soybeans and nursery-grown plant, which helped enrich the local planting models.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, Yangling initiated online training courses in agriculture technology in Chinese, English and Russian for the technicians, scientific researchers and farmers from the SCO member states, according to the bureau.
The online courses have become an effective way to increase the training efficiency amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, said Ma Jing, deputy head of the SCO training and demonstration base for agricultural technology exchange.
Underlining the significance of the training courses, Ma quoted a Chinese proverb -- "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
"The training courses will further promote agricultural cooperation and exchanges among the SCO countries," Ma said.