Wheat harvest in china © Xinhua News Agency/REX/Shutterstock© Xinhua News Agency/REX/Shutterstock

Officials from the EU and China are calling for 10 young farmers to join an exchange programme to share knowledge and farming experience.

Programmes for the fully funded trip are still being finalised but the aim is to include farm visits and discussions, visits to research institutes, government meetings and various training workshops. 

The initiative was launched in April by EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan and China’s farming minister Han Changfu.

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“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,” said Commissioner Hogan.

“I welcome this opportunity to strengthen the already positive and constructive relations between the EU and China in this area.”

Sector challenges

The project will give young farmers the chance to see how their counterparts rise to farming sector challenges, said a British embassy spokeswoman in Beijing.

Sustainable farming techniques and environmental practices will be at the heart of the project and participants will have the chance to learn from each other’s experience on a series of study tours, she added.

The findings will then be translated into recommendations on sustainable farming, which will be shared with the wider farming community and with policymakers. The project recommendations will be shared at a final conference in China at the end of 2018.

The first 10 young farmers (under 40) are being sought from across the EU to visit China for two weeks in November this year.

A second group of 10 will visit in June 2018. The scheme is fully funded by the EU and China so there are no costs for the participants.

The closing date for applications is 10 September. For more information and to apply, go to the study programme’s website.