The UK and China have come together to initiate a four year program, starting this year, to help improve agriculture in Africa. With pilot projects already established in Malawi and Uganda, the program will see the UK investing about $16 million and China providing expertise, all to enhance the transfer of agricultural technology to low-income countries in Africa. Pilot projects will be first established in Malawi and Uganda.
This move is premised on China’s impressive agricultural output, due to input of advanced technology and supportive policies. According to China’s Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Niu Dun, “In addition to realizing self-sufficiency in grain, China has helped other developing countries, especially in Africa, to improve agricultural productivity and food security in recent decades”.
Following discussions at the second Africa-Britain-China Conference on Agriculture and Fisheries in Beijing on Monday, Niu said that “Further cooperation with African countries, such as in the freshwater fishery and deep processing of agricultural product industries, will be strengthened in future”.
African participants at the Conference also called for more technology and knowledge transfers to help the countries in term of the sustainable development of agriculture.
Bright Kumwembe, Director of Finance and Administration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Malawi, shared Malawi’s challenges with its agricultural sector, saying, “Great challenges, including the lack of appropriate improved technology in aquaculture and poor fish feed formulations, may hinder the country from increasing fish production from aquaculture”.
“Food security is a global challenge, requiring innovation and efforts across the international community. The UK will certainly play its part in this global effort,” the British Ambassador to China Sebastian Wood said at the conference.
The program will provide a platform to extend technology tailored to the needs and conditions of African countries and support joint research to find solutions to food security issues, he said.