China to build agricultural research station in Mali

SciDev.Net/allAfrica

Cotonou — China plans to build a centre for agricultural research and technological demonstration near Bamako, Mali, to carry out experiments and technical training, and to contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture in the country, according to an agreement between the two governments announced last month (11 July).

The announcement came ahead of the fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing (19-20 July), at which the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, pledged to build further agricultural technology demonstration centres and to expand scientific collaboration with Africa.

The centre – to be built this year on a 20 hectare site in Baguinéda in the region of Koulikoro, 40 kilometres from the country’s capital, Bamako – will focus on developing rice, maize and horticultural production.

It will be built at an estimated cost of 55 million Chinese yuan (around US$8.6 million), with a loan from China.

Anastase Hessou Azontondé, head of the soil science, water and environment laboratory at the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB), said the centre would use Chinese funds to “bring to Mali technologies developed by Chinese talent and experience”.

It is part of China’s soft power diplomacy and research strategy, according to Azontondé, who said: “The results will be most useful to Africa”.

Speaking at FOCAC, Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, said that that China had built over 100 schools, 30 hospitals, 30 anti-malarial centres and 20 agricultural technology demonstration facilities across the African continent.

China “will build more agricultural technology demonstration centres [...] to help African countries increase production capacity,” Hu added.  Read more…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s