Agricultural cooperation between China and Africa


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Qi Gubo, China Agricultural University

International Seminar: The role of South-South Cooperation in Agricultural Development in Africa - opportunities and challenges. 17 May 2012.

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Agricultural cooperation between China and Africa

  1. 1. Agricultural Cooperation between China and Africa  Changing profile of agricultural cooperation between China and Africa, and challenges facing  Lessons from China’s own smallholder-led agricultural development experiences Qi Gubo China Agricultural University 2
  2. 2. Changing profile of China-Africa AgriculturalCooperation 1959 to the 1970s: dominated by development assistance, with the Chinese government offering grant aid to African countries and helped with the construction of farms, agricultural experiment stations and extension services, water conservation projects and technical expertise. Late 1970s to the end of the 1990s, the state enterprises with an investment contract system was adopted for some assistance projects. In addition to non-reimbursable assistance, concessional loans gradually became a major part of agricultural assistance to Africa. From 2000 onwards, Sino-African agricultural cooperation is progressively turning from a project-based mode to a more strategic and sustainable form of institutional development. In addition to bilateral aid and economic cooperation, China is actively applying the United Nations system’s Framework on South–South cooperation mechanism and other multilateral mechanisms to extend agricultural assistance to Africa. 3
  3. 3. Main Approaches of cooperation Development cooperation --Farm construction --Experimental Stations and Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centres --Agricultural Technology Expert Programme --Agricultural training --Student exchange --Provision of Food Aid and Material Assistance Economic cooperation Cooperation in trade 4
  4. 4. Challenges for effective cooperation How to make balance between public and private benefits when ventures are playing more and more important roles How to make the nexus of technology, institution, and basic resources for integrated application Make businesses responsible for technology extension and knowledge distribution Dispatching experts and technicians working in the field to meet the needs of partner countries, based on their own natural resources and production patterns Equal attraction for investors to enter into agriculture, considering low IRR comparing with other industrials Novel discourse or definition of agricultural cooperation? 5
  5. 5. Lessons from China’s Smallholder-led AgriculturalDevelopment Continued agriculture with small holder farmers, results in a farming model with intensive labor and technology inputs to save land The swift agricultural growth in China has been boosted by continual technology innovation and application; farming is centered with grain crops, which had benefited from Green Revolution Land reclamation and intensive inputs undermined the resources base and imposed negative environmental impacts Completed and systematic state agri. research and extension system strongly support the smallholders farming, keeping consistency with the strategic objective of food security in China 6
  6. 6. Possible references for Africa Food production as the top priority in agricultural development and national development strategies Enhancement of local capability of developing and implementing agricultural development strategies, in which external learning, such as student exchange and officers’ training should be more adaptive to concrete situation of resources and interests Smallholder farming activities need to be changed, considering its own labour surplus, and necessary external support; and a systematic technology and management support could be integration of government, NGOs and private sectors contribution, though institutionalization of this synergy would be a big challenge 7