On 18 January 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) released the “14th five-year plan for international cooperation in agriculture”. The plan comprises five sections: background, general outline, main goals, regional cooperation and guarantee measures.
First, the achievements of the 13th five-year plan for international cooperation in agriculture are described. According to the document, China currently cooperates with 140 countries or regions. It has established a stable cooperation with 94 countries, 80 of which signed onto “Belt & Road” agricultural cooperation agreements. The agricultural trade of China increased from 182.7 billion USD in 2016 to 246.8 billion USD in 2020 which made China the world’s biggest importer and fifth biggest exporter of agri-food products.
Increased rural revitalization efforts, urgency of global food security, need to achieve carbon neutrality and new regional trade pacts like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade pact that includes China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries, provide China with great opportunities to intensify international agricultural cooperation with respective partners.
The plan lists these international organizations as main target group to deepen cooperation and exchanges: WTO, WFP, G20, CGIAR, FAO, IFAD, APEC, CSAM, GIAHS and BRICS. It furthermore states that China especially would strengthen its agriculture cooperation with “Belt & Road” and RCEP countries. Agricultural trade, technology exchange, improving international food governance and external agricultural aid would be the main areas for international cooperation with China.
The plan also describes that ASEAN, RCEP and “Belt & Road” countries would be main partners in Asia for agricultural cooperation and mentions the “Mekong River” project as an example.
In the Western Europe section, only Germany, France and UK are mentioned: The plan states that it would intensify the function of the Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ), broaden the reach of the Sino-German Agricultural Week as well as promote climate change cooperation and personnel exchanges. With regards to France, the document states that China would intensify modern agricultural cooperation with the country, promote agricultural technology and vocational training cooperation and further Sino-French agricultural cooperation to a new level. Establishment of Sino-British cooperation mechanism would also be explored. The document also states to intensify the efforts to establish Sino-European Union agricultural cooperation mechanisms and raise the level of bilateral cooperation.
The plan suggests that further cooperation with Eastern European countries in the agricultural trade would be accelerated. With Russia, soybean cooperation would be furthered, and new Sino-Russian experimental farms would be promoted. The plan also outlined further cooperation with countries from other regions such as the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Argentina in agricultural trade and other relevant issues.
Source: 农业农村部关于印发《“十四五”农业农村国际合作规划》的通知, MARA, (accessed on 14 February 2022).