Young farmer exchange programme China/EU
Young Irish farmers will soon have the chance to visit China on study trips, while young Chinese farmers and agriculture professionals can visit Ireland and other EU countries.
The project will be jointly funded by the EU and the Chinese authorities.
The project was jointly announced today by Commissioner Phil Hogan and Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China. This EU-China project is aimed at capacity building for young professional farmers and agricultural professionals.
Speaking at the launch event, Phil Hogan said: "In both Europe and China – and indeed anywhere else in the world – we need to encourage the next generation of young farmers and rural entrepreneurs to create a food and farming sector fit for the 21st century. I welcome this opportunity to strengthen the already positive and constructive relations between the EU and China in this area which I saw during my visit there last year."
The project will focus especially on sustainable farming techniques and environmental practices. Through a series of study tours the participants will have the chance to learn from each other's experience in this area; this will then be translated into recommendations on sustainable farming to be shared with the wider farming and rural community, and with policy makers. The project recommendations will also be shared at a final conference to be organised in China end of 2018.
The exchange programme is part of the broader cooperation between the EU and China on agriculture and rural development which began in 2012. It's hoped that the project will strengthen bilateral cooperation in the area of agriculture and rural development between the EU and China, letting young farmers and agricultural professionals from both sides see how they each rise to the challenges of their respective farming sectors.
The project will be funded jointly by China and the EU. The Centre for International Cooperation Services of the Ministry of Agriculture will manage the project for China, while on the EU side the project will be implemented through the Policy Support Facility of the EU's Partnership Instrument, which is designed to promote the Union's strategic interests worldwide by reinforcing its external strategies, policies and actions.