On 1st June 2022, the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) attended the ‘Parallel Forum on Poverty Reduction Cooperation and Rural Development’ organized by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Demonstration Base for Agriculture Technology Exchange and Training and China’s Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University. The event was convened as part of the 2022 Shanghai Cooperation Organization Youth Technology and Innovation Forum jointly sponsored by the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, All-China Youth Federation, and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province of China.
On behalf of CSAM, Mr. Anshuman Varma, Deputy Head, participated virtually in the Parallel Forum and delivered a keynote speech highlighting the significance of sustainable agricultural mechanization in addressing the rising challenges of poverty alleviation and rural development in the backdrop of the severe adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural and human-induced crises such as climate change. He further reiterated that, as was recognized at the Food Systems Summit convened by the United Nations in 2021, innovative agricultural machinery and related technologies can help improve overall agricultural productivity and catalyze transformative change of food systems to support food security and poverty alleviation, including for vulnerable groups like smallholder farmers and rural women. He underscored the need for greater involvement of youth in rural development and innovation, as well as strengthened partnerships for accelerating progress towards the related Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Varma also noted that ESCAP (through CSAM), the Administrative Committee of the Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industry Demonstration Zone of China, and World Food Programme had entered into a Letter of Intent in 2020. The tripartite partnership aims at strengthening mutual support through enhancement of innovative and proven sustainable agricultural mechanization technologies and practices for the benefit of member States. Since the establishment of the partnership, various activities have been carried out including the successful organization of two workshops on climate smart mechanization, with a focus on Central Asian Countries, which were welcomed by the participants.