15 September 2022: The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) attended the Yangling International Agri-Science Forum during the 29th China Yangling Agricultural High-tech Fair convened in China’s Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industry Demonstration Zone. The Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China and the People's Government of Shaanxi Province, and jointly organized by the Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University of China, Department of Science and Technology of Shaanxi Province as well as the Administrative Committee of Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industry Demonstration Zone.
On behalf of ESCAP and its Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) based in Beijing, Mr. Adnan Aliani, Director of ESCAP’s Strategy and Programme Management Division, delivered the opening remarks at the Forum, highlighting the importance of technological innovations in the agricultural sector and its relevance in creating solutions that can enhance the sustainable transformation of the agro-food systems and support countermeasures for addressing climate change threats. He reiterated that innovative agricultural technologies such as ICT-based, digital and artificial intelligence technologies can improve overall agricultural productivity, support poverty reduction, as well as increase the resilience of farmers to shocks and protracted crises. He also underlined that there is urgent need for strengthened regional cooperation and collective efforts in safeguarding food security, accelerating rural development and ‘Building Back Better’ from the Covid-19 pandemic, and at the same time underscored the significant role of technological advancements in supporting the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Furthermore, in his remarks, Mr. Aliani noted the successful collaboration between ESCAP (through CSAM), Administrative Committee of the Yangling Agricultural High-tech Industry Demonstration Zone and the United Nations World Food Programme under the auspices of the Letter of Intent signed in 2020. Since the establishment of the partnership, the three parties have implemented various activities on innovation and rural development, and co-organized two workshops in the domain of climate-smart mechanization to promote innovative and proven sustainable agricultural mechanization technologies and practices for the benefit of rural communities and vulnerable groups in developing countries including those in Central Asia.