Tropical fruit a new front in China’s African aidSeptember 1st, 2012 - 9:50 am ICT by IANS
Beijing, Sep 1 (IANS) Even as only a thin Chinese belt experiences tropical weather, the technology it uses to grow and process tropical fruit may contribute to the country’s thriving cooperation with Africa, Xinhua reported.
China is ready to aid the largely tropical continent using relevant technology, said the country’s experts during an ongoing workshop being held between Aug 23 and Sep 19 on tropical fruit processing and utilisation.
On Thursday, the workshop witnessed officials and experts from 14 African countries in the tropical zone, including Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea and Mali, visiting a “noni” farm in the city of Sanya in south China’s Hainan province.
The noni fruit, though foul-smelling, is said to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels and treating some forms of cancer.
“I come here to learn about noni and will take my new planting skills back home,” said Regina Omomuan Edu Mibuy, an agricultural engineer at the Ministry of Agriculture of Equatorial Guinea.
Siaka Dlallo, an official from Mali’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce, said he will evaluate the market potential of noni and consider further cooperation with Chinese companies.
China is now Africa’s largest trading partner, as well as the continent’s top source of foreign direct investment and agricultural technologies.
Officials said China has set up 25 agricultural demonstration centres and trained over 4,000 agricultural technicians in Africa since 2006.
“This shows that the model for China’s African aid is changing,” said He Wenping, a researcher on African studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Apart from infrastructure building, China is now placing more focus on helping African countries build their own talent pools, he added.
The Chinese government has said it will launch the “African Talents Program” to train 30,000 personnel in various sectors, as well as offer 18,000 scholarships and build training facilities in Africa, within three years.
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Tags: academy of social sciences, agricultural engineer, agricultural technicians, agricultural technologies, blood sugar levels, chinese academy of social sciences, chinese companies, equatorial guinea, fruit processing, hainan province, ministry of agriculture, noni fruit, relevant technology, sanya, siaka, south china, talent pools, tropical continent, tropical weather, tropical zone