Young farmers to strengthen EU-China ties

The EU and China are offering a unique opportunity for young farmers to discover more about agriculture in the world’s most populated country.

In April, European Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan and Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu announced a new initiative between the Commission’s Agricultural Directorate and China, to help strengthen relationships between young farmers across the EU and China.

They have now issued a call for applicants for the first stage of the initiative, which will see 10 young farmers (under 40) chosen from across the EU to visit China in November this year, with another 10 to visit in June 2018, for two weeks each time. The scheme is fully funded by the EU and China so there are no costs for the participants.

The main objectives of the EU-China Young Farmers Programme are to:

  • Facilitate effective sharing and dissemination of experiences and best practices
  • Enhance capacity building in modern farming techniques
  • Reinforce cooperation in green development, environmental protection practices and sustainable agriculture
  • Produce recommendations to practitioners and policy-makers on sustainable farming practices
  • Increase the mutual understanding between young professional farmers and agricultural professionals from both sides, develop close collaboration and ties, and deepen the international cooperation and exchange in agriculture between China and the EU.

The closing date is September 10.

The programmes haven’t been finalised but are expected to include a mix of on farm visits and discussions, visits to research institutes, government meetings and various training and workshops.

The idea is to give young farmers a chance to explore common, and sometimes very different, challenges both the EU and China. These include diversity of agriculture, climate, natural environment, cultural traditions, diversity of socio-economic status, ageing rural population and the difference between urban and rural development.

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.