Three quarters of the world's poorest people are smallholder farmers, many of whom are affected by severe hunger and malnutrition. In places such as Sub-Saharan Africa, farmers face a daunting array of challenges including unproductive soil, plant and animal diseases, pests, and drought. Reliable markets for agricultural products and good information about pricing are hard to come by, and government policies rarely serve farmers’ interests well. Population growth, dwindling natural resources, and a changing climate have compounded these difficulties.
Agricultural development offers a path out of poverty for millions of people, as China and many other countries have demonstrated in recent decades. In particular, China's agricultural research and technology institutions have a wealth of expertise and innovations that can be applied to addressing pressing needs in Africa and beyond. Various approaches — ranging from crop improvement and livestock vaccines to technology adoption and effective delivery strategies — have the potential to improve food security and nutrition and increase the incomes of millions of farming families.
We work with China's government, private sector, and financial institutions to develop and transfer relevant technologies, approaches, and models that are most in demand in the developing world to help their farmers grow more and more nutritious food. Our major partnerships in China include the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, MOFCOM, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences, with the goal of facilitating transformational development of the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2016, we kicked off a joint program with MOFCOM to support the enhancement of the effectiveness of two Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centers in Mozambique and Zambia, respectively. As the first pilot under our partnership with MOFCOM, this program aims to leverage China’s resources in development assistance and appropriate smallholder-farmer-oriented agricultural technologies and models to support the upgrade of local agriculture technology and to benefit farmers in the long run.