From 22 to 28 October 2023 the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP-CSAM) successfully organized a Workshop on Innovative Approaches & Practices of Climate-Smart Mechanization for Dryland Farming Management in Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industry Demonstration Zone, Shaanxi, China, in collaboration with the Administrative Committee of Yangling Agricultural High-tech Industry Demonstration Zone and the World Food Programme China Office.
Aiming at strengthening climate resilience capacity, food security and agrifood innovation in Central Asian countries through knowledge sharing and peer learning in the area of sustainable agricultural mechanization, the workshop exhibited the latest developments and applications of innovative approaches and practices of climate-smart mechanization such as digital technologies and devices; water efficiency and automatic irrigation systems; technologies for protected agriculture generated from China and other countries in the region that can address climate change threats to support the food systems transformation in Central Asian countries and countries facing similar challenges. Thirteen representatives of government agencies, research and educational institutes and private sector from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan took part in the event.
Ms. Ling He, Deputy Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Yangling Agricultural High-tech Demonstration Zone, Mr. Qiang Li, National Programme Officer of ESCAP-CSAM, and Ms. Yan Jia, Head of South-South Cooperation of the World Food Programme China Office, attended the Opening Session of the workshop and delivered the opening remarks. During the workshop, professors and experts including Mr. Jun Chen, Mr. Jinghui Xu and Mr. Zhihui Cheng of the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, delivered presentations respectively on mechanization-based digital technologies; water efficiency technologies and practices in dryland farming; and the application of technologies for protected agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas. Senior researcher Mr. Pu Huang of Yangling Vocational Technical College also shared experiences and knowledge at both policy and technical levels on the practices of climate-smart mechanization in China. Among the Country-level Presentations, participants presented on the status of sustainable agricultural mechanization development in their respective countries. The workshop also included field trips to the Arid Region Water-saving Agriculture Research Institute of the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University; Yangling Smart Agriculture Industrial Park; and Yangling Tianhai Smart Hydro-Electric Technology Company, Ltd. As part of the programme, participants visited the 2023 China International Agricultural Machinery Expo in Wuhan, Hubei, during which they held fruitful discussions and exchanges for future collaboration with manufacturers and distributors of agricultural machinery both from China and other countries.
As a follow-up instance of the 79th Session of ESCAP Side Event on Enabling Food Systems Transformation through Climate-Smart Agri-Innovation jointly organized by ESCAP and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on 16 May 2023, the workshop provided opportunity for participants to be exposed to the latest developments of climate-smart mechanization innovations with scalable and adaptive solutions to help achieve transformative change for agrifood systems and contribute to accelerated progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Central Asian context.