Chinese agricultural officials and scientists called for strengthening international cooperation to push forward green development in the agricultural industry and rural regions through the advancement of science and technology.
At the 6th Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST), held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Qu Dongyu said the world is facing mounting challenges including persistent difficulties in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, the impacts of climate change, resource depletion and environmental pollution, and growing risks of trans-boundary animal diseases and plant pests.
Qu said agriculture will need to feed 10 billion people globally by the middle of this century, up from 7.7 billion today.
"We need to urgently act and move toward sustainable agriculture that produces food that is nutritious, safe and accessible to all while nurturing healthy ecosystems and supporting the sustainable management of natural resources," Qu said.
He said that science, technology and innovation are fundamental for achieving the sustainable development goals and science-based knowledge should be an integral part of all national sustainable development strategies.
In this regard, China has set a remarkable example battling unsustainable agriculture, through policy incentives backed up by scientific results obtained in pilot projects, Qu said.
Zhang Taolin, vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said green development has been high on China's agenda for its rural revitalization strategy and the modernization program for agriculture and rural areas.
Zhang said China has focused on controlling the total water consumption for agricultural use, reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and recycling livestock manure, straw and mulching film.
He said the Chinese government and research institutions will double their efforts to achieve breakthroughs in areas such as the technical equipment and models for water-saving irrigation and the highly efficient use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, so as to shift agricultural research and technology from being production-oriented to green and efficiency-oriented, to realize high yields, high quality, high efficiency and multifunctional development of agriculture.
China is willing to share its experience and models in the green development of agriculture, and strengthen its R&D cooperation with other countries, Zhang added.
Tang Huajun, president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), said the challenges facing global agriculture are interrelated and require comprehensive policies at the national level and coordination and cooperation at the global level.
He said the CAAS hopes to continue cooperation with organizations in other countries to jointly study major common and key technical issues and promote the green development of agriculture and rural areas on the basis of science and technology.