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Could the choice of Qu Dongyu as Director General of FAO be a turning point for sustainable agriculture?

Could the choice of Qu Dongyu as Director General of FAO be a turning point for sustainable agriculture?
Preventing desertification and drought, improvement and assist, financial system and commerce, most popular, meals and agriculture, international, globalization, headlines, pure assets, poverty and sustainable improvement goals, TerraViva UN, trade and investment


STOCKHOLM / ROME, July 1, 2019 (IPS) – Agriculture is the basis of civilization of a sedentary, without governments or nations. The food surplus produced by agriculture allowed individuals to stay in cities and create techniques capable of organizing food production so that some members of the group might interact in activities aside from direct meals manufacturing and thus create ideologies, methods and goods

China's agricultural production is at present the largest in the world and hundreds of For years, the shut relationship between nature and agriculture has been a superb function of its tradition. A priceless example is the poetry of Du Fu (712 – 770 CE), which wrote about the struggling of agriculture:

Long shell, long shell, deal with from white wooden,
I belief my life for you – it’s a must to save me now! 1

Like all other peasants, Du Fu was very aware of the horror of nature and catastrophes brought on by drought and hunger


No rain coated dwelling things,
fertile fields rise to the cloud of yellow dust

The growing hen dies from warmth.
The fish dries as ponds.
Countless individuals wander, poor and homeless.
Lifting eyes reveals a lot of weeds. 2

A lot of China's history is a gigantic effort to alleviate and utilize pure forces. Myths tell us how agricultural tools and tools have been invented, how crops and animals are domesticated. They speak about irrigation, digging wells and establishing farmers' markets. Heroes and emperors are thought-about to be the initiators of such aspirations, they usually typically turned gods and worshiped as gods, such as the legendary Yu, the son of Gun, who turned the god of fertility Shénnóng (神農) Divine Farmer.three

– such as Mao Zedong, a main leap in 1958, which places land administration in a tighter state control, causing a catastrophic state of affairs when ecologically damaging campaigns, such as the destruction of sparrow, have been combined with a ban on personal meals production and the introduction of harmful farming practices such as large-scale deforestation, deep plowing and close cultivation, as nicely as toxins and as a outcome of misuse of pesticides, famine, which killed an estimated 14 million people.

China discovered about such damaging insurance policies and progressively moved away from the Maoist "command economy", which didn’t give farmers the alternative to find out the financial provide and demand legal guidelines. In 1984, around 99% of farmers have been landed and agricultural production returned to individual households. The Individuals's Republic of China (Individuals's Republic of China) is now producing a quarter of the world's grain and fewer than 10% of the world's arable land feeds a fifth of the world's population. China is the world's first grain, cotton, fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry, eggs and fishery products. Nevertheless, the Chinese population is consistently rising, whereas the number of arable land is falling. China's inhabitants is approaching 1.5 billion, accounting for almost 20% of the country's population. Agriculture employs over 300 million Chinese language farmers, while 40% of Chinese language citizens reside in rural areas. Young individuals move easily from the countryside to the city areas. The rate of mechanization is rising rapidly to fill the labor shortage, but even with elevated mechanization, young farmers are wanted in China to switch the older ones.

Thus, as a way to feed a nutritious population, Chinese rulers have realized that, along with rising their individuals, meals production must spend money on international agriculture, not least in Africa. China-Africa trade grew by 700 % in the 1990s, and China has grow to be Africa's largest trading associate, supporting agricultural manufacturing and food exports in lots of creating nations. China is at present constructing agricultural and cooperative relations with worldwide agricultural and monetary organizations and is actively involved in creating agriculture in over 140 nations.

This effort for international cooperation can be one of the reasons for China's rising curiosity in the United Nations. When the Individuals's Republic of China changed China (Individuals's Republic of China) in the UN in 1971, it initially remained low. Nevertheless, after Xi Jinping turned China's Chief Government, China has grow to be more and more outstanding in the UN system.

Xi Jinping declared in a speech at the UN office in Geneva that he didn’t regard business protectionism and self-isolation as good. He described the Paris Agreement as a "milestone in the history of climate management" and said that "we must ensure that this effort is not eliminated." He additionally burdened that the UN is at the coronary heart of the worldwide system. The speech of Jinping can be in contrast with that of the UN General Meeting at the speech of Donald J. Trump:

    America is dominated by America. We reject the ideology of globalization and take into consideration the doctrine of patriotism. Globally accountable peoples must defend self-determination threats not only from international governance, but in addition from other new types of coercion and domination.7

America stays the largest donor to the UN. % of its price range. Nevertheless, US help is falling. Already in 2011, the United States stopped paying payments to UNESCO and in October 2017 it formally terminated the organization. In 2018, the United States withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council and terminated all funding for the Palestinian Refugee and Labor Company in the Middle East (UNRWA). The Trump administration is presently making an attempt to scale back US funding for a number of UN bodies. At the similar time, the Individuals's Republic of China lately crossed Japan as the second largest national financial actor in the United Nations. Up to now, Japan has contributed 10% yearly, whereas the Individuals's Republic of China now stands at 10.8% and intends to extend its financial help. eight

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Group (FAO) is dedicated to international efforts to improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries, with the purpose of making certain the security of all food, and it’s subsequently pure that its activities are of great curiosity to the world's largest food producer. On June 23, Qu Dongyu was elected General Director of FAO and became a second Chinese language citizen who heads the UN Workplace. 9 In a current speech, Qu Dongyu, who at that time was still the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the Individuals's Republic of China, stated that if he turned the Director-General of FAO, he would endeavor to proceed the organisation's efforts to promote sustainable agriculture, particularly by supporting value chains, tropical agriculture, dry farming, water supply and innovation. ICT. Qu Dongyu harassed that this could solely be achieved by farmers themselves, stressing that rural ladies and young individuals should be mobilized, supported and included in all decision-making. The final promise can prove that Qu Dongyu goes to avoid turning into a Demi god whom the rulers of giant organizations typically think about themselves to be. Qu Dongyu's speech may seem on the excessive flight of the future chief of a giant group. Nevertheless, I discovered one of his speeches notably convincing – when he said that the future of agriculture is determined by the expertise of the elderly and the potential of the younger:

    Once I was a youngster, my grandmother all the time took me to select mushrooms in neighboring nations. He informed me that we should always depart previous mushrooms to unfold spores and young, small ones. That is the only method to ensure that we will present mushrooms constantly throughout the season. With a robust scientific background, I’ve all the time been a principle of diligence, fact search, inclusiveness and co-operation. 10

The longer term belongs to younger individuals, and we must prepare and shield the world for them. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, turned recognized in Might 2018 when she gained the second prize for middle faculty students. That they had been asked to write down about environmental degradation. Greta referred to as her essay We know – and we will do something now as she wrote:

    When you consider the future, you gained't consider longer than 2050. Then, at greatest, I haven't even lived half of my life. What happens subsequent? […] If I turn out to be 100 years previous, I’ll come to life in 2103. If I’ve youngsters and grandchildren at that time, they may in all probability have fun that day with me. Perhaps we want to speak about how things have been once I was a baby. I assume I'll speak about you then. How would you wish to be remembered? 11

One reply to Greta's question might be that eighty-four years ago, the election of the new FAO Director General helped reverse the short-sighted and unscrupulous exploitation of the Earth and thus contribute to the sustainable management of pure assets

1 Du Fu (2002) Du Fu Chosen poems, translated by Burton Watson. New York: University of Columbia Press, p. 71.
2Summer Sigh, quoted on Zhang, Yunhua (2018) Insights Into Chinese language Agriculture. Singapore: Springer, p. 97.
three cf. Yuan Kee (1993) Dragons and Dynasties: An Introduction to Chinese language Mythology. London: Penguin Books.
four Some scientific estimates are as excessive as 20-43 million, cf. Dikötter, Frank (2011) Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Disastrous Disaster, 1958-1962. London: Bloomsbury.
5http: //
6 Xi Jinping (2017) Works Together to Create a Group Future for Humanity.
7 UN affairs (2018) US President Trump rejects globalism in his speech at the UN General Meeting annual debate.
8 Okano-Heijmans, Maaike and van der Putten, Frans-Paul (2018) UN with Chinese Options? The Hague: Clingendael Institute
9 Since 2013, Li Yong is the title of the United Nations Industrial Devolpment Organization (UNIDO).
10 Dongyu, Qu (2019) Building a Dynamic FAO in a Better World.
11 Thunberg, Greta (2018) ”Greta Thunberg:" Vi vet – och vi kan göra något nu´, “Svenska Dagbladet, Might 30.

Jan Lundius is a PhD. Spiritual historical past from Lund College and has worked as Improvement Manager, Researcher and Advisor at SIDA, UNESCO, FAO and different international

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