The First China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will be held inChangsha, the capital ofHunanprovince, fromJune 27 to 29. As part ofChina’seight major initiatives for working with African countries, this expo is the only economic and trade platform under the mechanism of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
With the theme of “Win-win Cooperation for Closer China-Africa Economic and Trade Partnership,” the expo has one major item on its agenda － promoting agricultural cooperation between the two sides. Discussions will be held on the cooperation models for grain production and the sharing ofChina’sexpertise in agricultural development. Also expected are the latest results of the hybrid rice breeding trials inAfrica.
ThoughAfricais generally rich in land resources and enjoys favourable conditions for farming, the continent still suffers from low agricultural production and food security problems. Agriculture is a major part ofChina–Africacooperation and of key interest to both sides. A single seed of rice has become the bridge ofChina–Africafriendship.
Changshahas been playing an important role inChina–Africaagricultural cooperation. It has the world-leading hybrid rice technology, which is pioneered by agricultural scientist Yuan Longping.Changshahas established a complete industrial chain for the technology’s research, development, and industrialization. The city could provide African countries with such agricultural expertise so that they could transition from dependency on foreign aid to self-sufficiency.
In 2010, experts fromChangshabegan helpingMadagascarto localize hybrid rice. Since then, the country has raised 20,000 hectares of hybrid rice fields, with each hectare producing about 7 tons on average. The country’s 25 million people have now become self-sufficient on food. Long Ping High-Tech, which is named after Yuan Longping the agricultural expert, has periodically carried out technical assistance projects inAfricaand provided training to some 3,600 officials and agricultural specialists in almost 50 African countries.
The upcoming China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo inChangshahas attracted the world’s attention and is expecting over 10,000 participants. AsChangsha’sexpertise comes together withAfrica’srich natural resources, momentum is sure to gather for further cooperation betweenChinaandAfrica.