Home OPINIONS China is an important partner for Africa in achieving agricultural modernization

China is an important partner for Africa in achieving agricultural modernization

Africa possesses a unique agricultural production environment. To realize agricultural modernization is the crucial foundation for African countries to achieve independent and sustainable development.

However, African agricultural development still faces constraints such as limited funds, lack of infrastructure and agricultural equipment, incomplete industry and supply chains, and outdated production methods.

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In August of this year, China announced the implementation of the Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization, expressing a willingness to explore new paths of cooperation within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and comprehensively promote practical agricultural cooperation between China and Africa. The plan encourages Chinese agricultural research institutions to establish joint research centers or laboratories in Africa, dispatch agricultural technology experts, and help Africa train more specialized agricultural talent.

Enhancing the agricultural industry chain and product value in Africa

China has established multiple demonstration fields and agricultural parks in Africa, aiming to support African countries in fostering distinctive agricultural industries in a market-oriented manner, covering the entire industry chain from breeding, seeding, planting, production, and warehousing to sales. Examples include the poverty reduction demonstration village for rice growing in Burundi and the sesame planting demonstration field in Mozambique, both making positive contributions to promoting the construction of agricultural industry chains in their respective localities.

In early September, 52 tons of anchovy from Kenya arrived in Hunan Province, China. Kenyan anchovy was further processed into seafood snacks for the Chinese market. Despite Kenya’s abundant aquatic resources, the relatively weak development of the industry chain constrained its aquatic products from reaching the global market. In 2018, a Chinese company invested in Kwale County on the eastern coast of Kenya, organizing local fishermen for fishing and centralized procurement, processing dried fish for export to China.

Building platforms for African agricultural products to enter the Chinese market

By establishing platforms such as the China International Import Expo, China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, and the Africa Good Products Online Shopping Festival, China actively provides showcase opportunities for African agricultural products. With the implementation of trade facilitation measures such as the “green channel” for African agricultural products entering China, African agricultural products are rapidly entering the Chinese market, injecting vibrant energy into the development of agricultural modernization in Africa.

Some African ambassadors to China have participated in Chinese live-streaming shopping to endorse African agricultural products. During a previous live-streaming event, the Rwandan ambassador to China prepared a four-page speech, but before he could start speaking, red tea and coffee beans from his country had already been completely sold out.

Promoting technological cooperation and talent development

Chinese agricultural research institutions have established joint research centers or laboratories in different regions of Africa, dispatching agricultural technology experts to conduct comprehensive technical research, including the development of seed varieties suitable for local ecological conditions, comparative trials, and high-yield seed production experiments.

Yang Huade, the leader of the fifth batch of China’s experts dispatching to Burundi, tripled rice production in Burundi over eight years, earning him the National Merit Achievement Award from the Burundian president. The Kenya-China Belt and Road Joint Laboratory for Crop Molecular Biology at Egerton University in Kenya enables agricultural scientists to introduce new crop varieties more quickly. To date, the joint laboratory has trained more than 500 undergraduates and over 30 master’s and doctoral students.

Zhao Qian is a Nairobi-based CMG Multimedia Journalist

Zhao Qian
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