FAO South-South Cooperation Programme
FAO services relevant to this category relate to: (i) facilitation of SSC among participating countries; (ii) building alliances and partnerships with national and international partners; and (iii) resource mobilization in support of SSC initiatives.
FAO has facilitated SSC in more than 55 countries over the past 15 years. A total of about 1 900 experts and technicians have so far been deployed in about 55 countries. The on-going tripartite SSC agreements involve seven provider countries and fourteen recipient countries, mostly in Africa.
Under the current modality, the SSC experts and technicians on average serve about two years in their duty station. The need for SSC is initially identified by the recipient country, which is then further analyzed and verified by a panel of experts from the participating countries and FAO. A thorough appraisal is necessary to identify technological gaps, which may be effectively bridged through experience and knowledge exchange using the SSC framework.
The main purpose of the SSC is to bridge the knowledge gap and exchange relevant experiences among countries of the Global South in support of hunger eradication efforts. Thus far, this objective has been pursued by deploying experts and technicians from relatively advanced countries in the South, where hunger and poverty is not a distant memory.
The FAO-SSC program has, by and large, focused on agricultural production ( including crops, fishery, livestock and forestry) and to a lesser extent on post harvest processing, which is a reflection of the needs in participating countries. In some countries, for example Mongolia, food safety and in particular meat processing and fresh meat supplies to the international market has been more emphasized. It is highly likely that demand for capacity building in developing marketing chains and standardization to access international markets will rise. Experiences and know-how from other countries in the South would be highly valuable in this regard.
The Organization is at present in the process of developing a strategy and plan of action to develop a more comprehensive and highly responsive framework to better serve the overall goal of contributing to hunger eradication through exchange of experiences and technical know-how. In addition to the existing SSC modality, where experts and technicians are deployed for a relatively long period of time in a recipient country, the strategy envisages a number of other modalities to exchange knowledge and experiences among participating countries of the South. The FAO SSC strategy has benefited from 15 years of experience, dialogue with international partners and member governments. The strategy also envisages that SSC is a cross cutting issue and relevant to almost all of FAO’s activities and as such SSC shall be mainstreamed throughout FAO’s Program of Work where effective.
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Strategic Alliances on South-South Cooperation (SSC)
In 2011, FAO co-signed two new tripartite agreements between the People’s Republic of China and the Republics of Liberia and Senegal, respectively, to support implementation of a series of food security initiatives and projects in Liberia and Senegal.
The agreements were signed in the context of the Strategic Alliance between FAO and China on South-South Cooperation (SSC) in support of programmes for food and nutrition security in selected countries. The funding provided through the new agreement comes from a US$ 30 million FAO-China Trust Fund.
Under the agreement with Liberia, China will contribute more than US$ 1 million and technical assistance through 24 Chinese experts and technicians, to support implementation of the National Programme for Food Security over a two-year-period. In Senegal, China will provide assistance through 26 experts and technicians.
A total of 47 tripartite agreements have been signed to provide technical assistance among developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and over 1 500 experts and technicians have been fielded in the framework of various food security initiatives.
In addition to the Strategic Alliance with China, letters of intent for SSC Strategic Alliance have also been signed so far with Argentina and Indonesia, and are under discussion with Morocco.
In one such SSC project, Vietnamese experts are helping to implement irrigation activities in Chad to support rice cultivation and horticulture, and to increase cereal production, artisanal fishing, bee-keeping and food processing. Under a tripartite agreement signed with FAO in 2010, ten Vietnamese experts are helping Chad to implement the activities under the country’s five-year, US$ 200 million National Programme for Food Security (which FAO helped to design).
In Malawi, irrigation engineers from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar helped their national counterparts to develop and disseminate irrigation technologies among smallholder farmers. They included the use of water diversion techniques and materials which were previously unknown to the farmers, and which helped to improve water flow and reclaim flooded areas.
The Government of Venezuela has provided financial support for the transfer of technology to African countries in the field of small-scale water control, while the Government of Brazil has agreed to provide specialized training in agricultural research institutes and training centres for qualified African nationals.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Government of Brazil have initiated a technical cooperation project to strengthen agro-environmental policies in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 2013.
The project, with a budget of US$300,000 provided by the Brazil-FAO International Cooperation Fund, aims to document, systematize and validate successful ecologically-based agricultural policies and practices from Brazil and other LAC countries, and to promote the exchange of lessons learned and dialogue about plans, programmes and policies that can be adapted and implemented by LAC countries.
At the November 2012 Global South-South Development Expo in Vienna, Austria, FAO (and IFAD) led the Solution Forum on Energy, Climate Change and Food Security (21 November) covered presented development solutions that address the challenges of energy, climate change and food security and provided results-based presentations and scalable solutions on agricultural and food technology.