Beijing, 13 April 2022: The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organized an online exchange event on agriculture among cities of China and Nepal, with support of the Hunan Provincial Foreign Science & Technology Exchange Centre (HNSTEC).
The event brought together experts and officials from Gurbhakot Municipality, Birendranagar Municipality, Regional Agricultural Research Council of Nepal, Jishou City, Lanshan County, Jiangyong County, and Hunan Vegetable Research Institute of China, as well as representatives of UNDP Country Office in Nepal and UNOSSC.
At the event, Mr. Rafeeque Ahmad Siddiqui, Head of Field Office for Karnali Province at UNDP Nepal, introduced the development context in the agriculture sector. In Karnali, agriculture contributes to 33% of provincial GDP, with more than two-thirds of the population depending on the sector for their livelihoods. The province has untapped potential for production increase and marketing of diversified high-value agricultural crops. With collaboration and partnership among UN agencies and Southern countries, such potential can bring significant positive changes to Karnali and improve local socioeconomic conditions.
Representatives and city officials also shared development progress in the agriculture sector, as well as their practices in poverty reduction.
Birendranagar is the capital of Karnali Province and is also the hub for agricultural production and marketing. The city seeks to introduce more technology to the sector and is interested in building a sister city partnership with Chinese cities. Gurbhakot is another city located in the Surkhet District of Karnali Province. It is currently seeking technical support to tackle irrigation challenges and further improve the quality of agricultural products.
Surrounded by mountains like Birendranagar and Gurbhakot, the Chinese city of Jishou has seen great expansion of its tea industry. The city has built “Xiangxi Golden Tea” as its public brand, and integrates cultural tourism with tea to contribute for poverty alleviation. The government also provides technical support and training for tea farmers. Jiangyong County focuses on the fruit industry and is famous for its summer oranges and tangerines. It uses e-commerce platforms to expand sales channels and increase local income. For Lanshan County, leather goods, luggage and toys have formed an industrial cluster.
The session is the first event of “South-South Cities Cluster of Sustainable Agriculture Development” of the UNOSSC Cities project in the 2022. The Cluster aims to build a bridge of exchange and cooperation among Southern cities and help reduce poverty through expanded access to agricultural technologies and innovation.