Updated: 2013-08-29. In recent years, Chinese enterprises have invested in Africa in such fields as breeding improved seeds, planting grain and cash crops, and processing agricultural products. From 2009 to 2012, China’s direct investment in African agriculture grew from US$30 million to US$82.47 million, a 175% increase. Investment by Chinese enterprises in African agriculture has increased grain supplies in the countries concerned and enhanced the comprehensive agricultural productivity of those countries. In Mozambique, for example, 300 hectares of experimental paddy fields supported by Chinese investment yielded 9-10 tons per hectare for three successive years. With the help of Chinese rice experts, local farmers see their paddy fields yield five tons per hectare, two tons more than previous yields. In Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, Chinese enterprises and the China-Africa Development Fund jointly invested in a cotton planting and processing project modeled on having enterprises work with farming households. The project was able to involve tens of thousands of local growers, effectively enhancing local capabilities in cotton processing.
Chinese enterprises have also worked to improve local farmland, water conservancy and conditions for agricultural production. Currently, the biggest agricultural project in Rwanda is a farmland improvement project supported by investment from the African Development Bank and contracted to Chinese enterprises. When completed, the project will effectively control major rivers and improve the utilization of water resources in Rwanda.
The Chinese government has tried to enhance Africa’s self-reliance capacity to develop its agriculture by providing assistance in the construction of demonstration centers of agricultural technology, and sending senior agricultural experts and technicians to teach the locals managerial experience and practical techniques in agricultural production. Since 2006, China has helped set up 15 agricultural demonstration centers in Rwanda, the Republic of Congo, Mozambique and some other countries, and is planning to establish another seven. At the same time, China has sent technical groups and several hundred technicians to Africa to provide policy consulting, teach practical techniques and train local staff. With China’s aid in a project to breed high-yield and high-quality crop varieties, Chad sees its yields grow by over 25% on over 500 hectares planted with improved varieties, and several thousand farmers trained.