August 17, 2011


China vows support for food security in Africa


China pledged to offer aid to African states to help improve their food security, said Lu Shaye, director-general of the department of African affairs under the Foreign Ministry.


Lu recalled China's agricultural cooperation with African states since the 1960s, saying that China has established more than 40 agricultural cooperation projects in 30 African countries.


From 2007 to 2009, China has dispatched 104 senior agricultural experts to 33 African countries, established agricultural technology centres in 14 African countries and has decided to build 10 more, he said.


Since 2009, China has sent 16 groups of agricultural experts to Africa and trained 874 Africans as agricultural experts, Lu said.


In the multilateral field, China actively participated in the Special Programme for Food Security of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO). It has sent more than 700 agronomists to eight African nations, he said.


In addition to governmental cooperation, China has also encouraged its domestic companies to invest in the agricultural industry in Africa, construct agricultural infrastructure and transfer agricultural technology, he noted.


China's agricultural investments to Africa in 2009 amounted to about US$30 million, he added.


In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chinese companies made investments in selective breeding of corn, which helped local corn farmers get supplier qualifications issued by United Nations World Food Programme, he said.


He also noted that China's intention to conduct agricultural cooperation with African countries was to help them improve grain productivity and promote food security in Africa, rather than safeguarding China's food security.


Lu refuted accusations from some countries that the drought in the Horn of Africa region was caused by China's land acquisition activities.


In the future, China's agricultural cooperation with Africa will focus on technology demonstration, personnel training, infrastructure construction, promotion of agricultural production and trade, and food assistance, he added.

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