May 07th, 2010 | English.news.cn Africa should learn from China on agricultural development: AGRA president
African countries should learn from China’s experience in improving agricultural productivity, the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) said.
“First of all, the level of food insecurity in Africa is too high, about one-third of the population in Africa is malnourished,” Namanga Ngongi said during an interview with Xinhua Thursday on the sidelines of the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa.
“A lot of children are stunted, and the death rate of infants is high due to malnutrition. So, we have to change,” said Ngongi.
According to Ngongi, the main reason for Africa’s malnutrition problem is low agricultural productivity. “We are still producing one ton of maize per hectare, but in China, people are producing over four tons per hectare.It is a big difference,” he said.
If African countries could increase agricultural productivity by applying enhanced technology, such as improved seeds and fertilizer and better water management, they might be able to solve the problem of food insecurity, Ngongi said.
The AGRA chief hailed China’s experience in developing agriculture, saying that Africa should really learn from China in this regard.
“China suffered from food insecurity in the 1950s to 1960s. But it has been able to overcome these difficulties through improving productivity and enhancing technologies, and pledging support to farmers,” he said.
“Clearly, you can see the big revolution that took place in Chinese agriculture. Africa can learn from China’s experience, because I know that China is trying to establish agricultural demonstration centers in Africa,” he said.
Ngongi said he believed African governments and their people would definitely benefit from these demonstration centers.
He said China could help Africa develop agriculture in many ways.
“China can support government research institutions in Africa to help develop new technologies that are adapted to African agriculture,” Ngongi said.
It could also support Africa’s infrastructure development, he said.
“Actually, China has already done a lot in helping the development of infrastructure in Africa,” Ngongi said.
The AGRA chief also emphasized the importance of energy efficiency and low-carbon development for sustainable agricultural growth.
Established in 2006, AGRA aims to realize food security and prosperity in Africa through the promotion of rapid and sustainable agricultural growth.
Editor: Zhang Xiang