Aug. 12th, 2010
Beijing, Aug. 12th, Xinhua news(Wang Huihui, Liang Linlin)On Aug. 12th a representative made remarks at China-Africa Agriculture Cooperation Forum that Africa will help to bring international food price under control by aggressively developing its agricultural production and has the potential to balance the world's food market as a "buffer".
Africa has 700 million hectare arable land with only 200 million hectares developed. In Tanzania and Zambia, the land under use is less than 40% with a low per mu yield, according to Li Xiaoyun, Dean of College of Humanities and Development Studies of China Agriculture University, in his address delivered on the forum.
"Africa will make great contribution to global food security with enhanced food and non-food crop production." said Li Xiaoyun. He thinks the rice production in West Africa and maize production in East Africa will balance the world's food market by acting like a "buffer" and Africa will become a big breadbasket for the world.
The African leaders at the forum expressed their agreement to this view. "Africa has abundant fertile soil and rich water resource. The continent has a great potential but it will take enormous efforts." said Dr. Abdul Halim, Minister of Agriculture of Sudan.
Joseph Mad,Zimbabwe's Minister of Agriculture stated that to address the food crisis, our focus must be put on improving unit land output, thus great investment has to be made in labor, machinery, and irrigation technology.
"To address food security and poverty issues in Africa, China should engage in and develop new type of China-Africa agriculture relationship by promoting investment, technology transfer and trade expansion." said Li Xiaoyun.
He said China can help Africa to build a complete industry chain, lower fertilizer and seeds costs, and as for Africa, from a strategic perspective, it should consider to attract processing companies to enter by establishing development zones.
Since the 1960s China and Africa's agricultural exchanges and cooperation has been growing. Currently, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has signed agriculture, husbandry and fishery cooperation agreements with 14 African countries including Ethiopia, Guinea, and Tanzania and since 2004 China has trained over 4,200 agriculture management and technical personnel, set up over 50 agriculture businesses, built over 100 farms of various types, which all have helped promote economic development and generated positive social effects, according to Niu Dun, Vice Minister of Agriculture of China.
In addition to expanding agriculture aids to Africa, China is making strong efforts supporting Chinese businesses to invest in agriculture projects in Africa by providing favorable loan policy or through China-Africa development fund.Fu Ziying, Vice Minister of Commerce, said during the forum that as of by the end of 2009, China has accumulatively invested US$150 million in Africa's agriculture fields. Through forms of wholly owned investment, joint ventures or contracting, the Chinese businesses' investment in areas of crop farming, breeds improving and products processing has seen initial benefits.
"China-Africa agricultural cooperation results are real and tangible. Our starting point and position in the first place in agriculture cooperation with Africa is to help Africa to upgrade its food security level and improve its agriculture self-development capabilities." said Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhai Juan.