The partnership between ADB and Alibaba will help in modernising the agriculture sector to eliminate poverty in China


Image: Ahmed M. Saeed (left) with Alibaba Group Partner and Public Affairs Department President Wen Jia. Photo: Courtesy of Asian Development Bank.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Alibaba Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate and support rural vitalisation in China.

Under the MOU, ADB and Alibaba will jointly support the development of the internet-plus economy to help modernise the agriculture sector, to eliminate extreme poverty in China.

ADB stated that it will incorporate new technology platforms for Chinese projects to support the digital rural economy using Alibaba’s technological expertise.

ADB and Alibaba cooperation will focus on three main areas

The cooperation between ADB and Alibaba will focus on three main areas including the promotion of smart farming and internet-plus agriculture technology applications across food and agriculture value chains, to promote ecological management through forest restoration, rural financial services and crowdsourcing solutions to distribute funds to target beneficiaries and to digitise and generate rural solid waste value streams.

Asian Development Bank vice-president Ahmed Saeed said: “ADB and Alibaba each have unique resources and advantages they can use to support rural development, protect the urban and rural environment, improve the safety and quality of agricultural production, and increase farmers’ incomes.

“We believe this cooperation will demonstrate how an international financial institution and a private sector leader can work together to address rural challenges using innovative approaches.”

The MOU is expected to strengthen ADB’s knowledge partnership with Alibaba to promote sharing of internet-plus and agriculture technology applications to the financial institution’s clients through events and meetings, consultations, training and capacity development for government personnel, publications and joint analytical work.

In December 2018, ADB had agreed to provide $80m funding to the subsidiaries of Kingenta Ecological Engineering Group, a fertiliser producer in China, to help promote environmentally sustainable and innovative agricultural services.

Under the funding programme, a loan of up to $50m will be provided to Linyi Kingfarm Cooperative Agricultural Services and an equity investment of $30m will be made in Kingfarm Agricultural Services, which includes the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and Hua Xia Bank as shareholders.