Interview: Agricultural cooperation with China brings more jobs, sustainable development to Central African Republic-Xinhua

Interview: Agricultural cooperation with China brings more jobs, sustainable development to Central African Republic

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-12 21:36:30

Guismala-Hamza, minister of agriculture and rural development of the Central African Republic (CAR), speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Bangui, the CAR, Feb. 7, 2024. (Xinhua/Han Xu)

BANGUI, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Central African Republic (CAR) has seen considerable feats in agriculture thanks to its cooperation with China, a senior government official said.

Major Chinese agricultural projects not only provide basic needs and employment but also new training opportunities and skills for the CAR people, said Guismala-Hamza, the CAR's minister of agriculture and rural development, in a recent interview.

"These projects brought a plus to the country, first in economic terms, and also in terms of poverty reduction through the employment of young people," Guismala-Hamza said.

China's development projects typically seek to "take Africa out of misery, poverty," Guismala-Hamza said, noting that Juncao, a Chinese-invented technology using grass to grow mushrooms, holds the key to securing a future for smallholder farmers in the country.

Juncao technology, developed by China's Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, has since 2021 allowed smallholder farmers in the CAR to grow mushrooms from dried, chopped grasses, without chopping down trees and damaging the environment.

"Juncao project was a fabulous project, which thrilled the population of the Central African Republic because of its simplicity. Chinese technicians played a very big role (in implementing the project). A lot of technicians were trained in China, and today there are technicians in the Central African Republic who have adopted this technology," he said, stating that the CAR is negotiating with China for the second phase of the project which will focus more on rural areas.

According to Guismala-Hamza, the CAR is working to modernize its agriculture and is hinging on China's experience, technical know-how and model in the agro-food industry for effective implementation.

"China is really well-placed to support us with machines for processing," said the official, adding that the CAR has a diversity of agricultural products, including coffee, cotton, and sugar cane, that could be of interest to the Chinese partners.