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New project to help with rural development

By Liu Xuan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-07-12 21:11

An agricultural drone sprays fertilizer on a wheat field in Daliuzhuang village, Shandong province. [Photo by Ji Zhe / for China Daily]

The model Internet + Agriculture + Finance will be launched in dozens of villages in China to help alleviate poverty, achieve rural revitalization and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The project Development of SDG Villages was launched in Beijing on Friday by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the China Agriculture Science and Education Foundation (CASEF), and investment bank GF Securities Co, Ltd.

The project will contribute to the SDGs on "No Poverty" and "Zero Hunger", two of the 17 goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in 2015.

It will for three years (2019-2021) promote agricultural technology in a more inclusive way and will train local agricultural experts and leaders in green value chain development.

The project can also accelerate the transformation from traditional agriculture to ecological agriculture and ensure both economic development and environmental protection.

The SDG Villages project will select four poverty-stricken villages in Longshan county of Hunan province, Laifeng county of Hubei province, Meigu county of Sichuan province, and Baisha county of Hainan province as pilot villages, with a total investment of $1 million.

It is expected to benefit more than 1,000 farmers.

Focusing on agricultural industry development and adopting the Internet + Agriculture + Finance model, the project will provide assistance to the 16 pilot villages, including training classes and e-commerce platforms for agricultural products.

It will train farmers to observe, analyze and test different approaches during the entire growing season of crops and promote green agricultural development.

The project will also help farmers connect with e-commerce platforms and provide training, such as package design for online product sales.

Vincent Martin, FAO representative in China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, said it is the first time that FAO China has implemented a project fully funded by the private sector and that the project is "a great example of a multi-stakeholder effort for fighting against poverty and promoting rural revitalization".

Zhang Wanzhen, vice-chairman and secretary-general of CASEF, said that the foundation will follow up on project implementation and participate in reviews to promote its sustainability.

"We will also take this opportunity to further play the role of social charity platform to mobilize more social forces and resources, to fund and support agricultural science and education, and to help promote rural revitalization and modernization," he said.

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