ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security
Posted 16 April 1998
Country Thematic Groups
China: Task Force on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security
In China, the Task Force on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, set
up in follow-up to the World Food Summit, has been affiliated to the Network.
It currently includes the participation of FAO (chair), UNDP, WFP and the
World Bank, though there are plans to expand the membership to include non-UN
partner organizations in the future.
Mandate and focus
The main mandate of the Task Force is to follow-up on integration of the
World Food Summit commitments into programmes at the national level. In
this context, the Task Force plays an important role in enhancing information
exchange and co-ordination among government and donor agencies engaged in
agricultural development projects. As part of its overall focus on household
food security, the Task Force has identified the "role of agricultural
technology transfer, through extension, in enhancing food security"
as a priority sub-theme.
The Task Force has already completed its first joint activity which was
to produce a compendium of ongoing agriculture related projects in China.
This Compendium includes:
- a geographical reference list of projects;
- an analysis of the allocation of financial assistance for different
agricultural sub-sectors; and
- a perspective on future donor policies in agriculture and related areas.
The final version of this "Compendium on Donor Assistance in Agriculture
in China" will soon be printed and is likely to provide a useful tool
for those engaged in agricultural development issues.
The Task Force is planning a study in association with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The purpose of this study will be to analyse the effectiveness of the existing
agricultural extension services at the grassroots level in China, with a
focus on the needs of poor female and male farmers, in order to develop
action-oriented guidelines aimed at improving agricultural extension at
the national, county and village level. It will seek to examine the agricultural
technology transfer process (e.g. management practices, dissemination methods,
rate of adoption and relevance of new technologies, mechanisms for feedback
from farmers) paying attention to the policy framework, the socio-economic
and natural environment, and the perceptions and attitudes of poor farmers,
Case studies will be carried out in three poor counties of three different
provinces during June-July 1998 and they will provide the basis for the
study recommendations. The conclusions and recommendations of these case
studies will be discussed with extension staff and farmers in field-level
workshops. The study outcomes will also be discussed with relevant Government
bodies and UN agencies/interested donors to provide practical recommendations
aimed at improving extension services for poor farmers at the grassroots
level, an important element in enhancing household food security.