The role of South-South Cooperation in Agricultural Development in Africa – opportunities and challenges

The role of South-South Cooperation in Agricultural Development in Africa – opportunities and challenges

17 May 2012. Brasília. The Role of South-South Cooperation in Agricultural Development in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges 2012

Both China and Brazil are becoming increasingly important players in agricultural development in Africa, whether through technical assistance or trade and commercial investments in land and agriculture. In the longer term, these new players may reshape the way agricultural development is thought about, financed and implemented across Africa. 

The implications of these new patterns of South-South cooperation have been discussed at a meeting in Brasilia on 17/05 organised by the Future Agricultures Consortium in collaboration with the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with support from Articulação Sul, the International Cooperation Centre in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Professor Li Xiaoyun and Professor Qi Gubo of the Chinese Agricultural University in Beijing offered their perspectives based on the findings of their recently-published book, Agricultural Development in China: A Comparative Analysis
Focusing on China’s experience of supporting agricultural development in Africa, they argued that China has made massive strides in achieving food security and poverty reduction, feeding 20 per cent of the world’s population with only 8 per cent of the world’s arable land. Lessons from this experience are potentially important for Africa, they said. China has experience of labour intensive agriculture supported by locally developed appropriate technologies. China’s ‘green revolution’, they pointed out, was home-grown and based on long-term public investment in research, agricultural education and infrastructure, and was not reliant on market led development.

Panel 1: Brazilian cooperation for development: new paradigm for agricultural development in Africa? 

Setting Brazilian agricultural development cooperation in its geopolitical and policy context – what are the attributes of the Brazilian model and what challenges is it facing? Reflecting on lessons from different agricultural development models in Brazil and their implications for cooperation with Africa – how to get the blend right?

Panel 2: Agriculture, climate change and a green economy in Africa: what role for South-South?

Focusing on the opportunities and challenges for African agriculture [in the context of the Rio+20 and post-Durban agendas on sustainability], inclusive green growth and climate change mitigation – climate smart agriculture and the socioenvironmental lesson-learning process from Brazilian agricultural development. What lessons exist from including rural women for example? How can we do better rather than simply produce more?

Panel 3: Brazil and China in Africa: similarities and differences in South-South exchange 

Identifying contrasts and commonalities in Brazilian and Chinese approaches for agricultural development cooperation with Africa, and potential for future exchange – what might Brazil and China do together?

Related, 10 May 2012. Chinese food security may be motivating investments in Africa Future need to import more food a possible influence in China’s engagement with African agriculture, claims study.

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