ZDA, Chinese firm seal agro deal

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Times of Zambia | 21 August 2010

Yuan Longping, China's famous breeder of hybrid rice.

THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has signed an agreement with Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Company of China for the development of an agriculture farm bloc and science high-tech park in Zambia.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between ZDA and Yuan Longping would foster development of more agricultural land for producing agricultural products for local consumption and exports within the region and other parts of the world.

The MOU will promote value addition to agricultural products through agro processing and Longping will support Zambian out grower schemes that will feed into the major agro-processing plants within the farm blocs.

The Chinese firm would introduce advanced agricultural technologies in farming, the first of its kind in the country.

Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Peter Daka said the agreement signed demonstrates Government's commitment to growing the agriculture sector in the country.

"This MOU comes barely weeks after my visit to the company (Longping High-Tech Agriculture) in China and this shows how committed the firm was in investing in Zambia," he said.

Mr Daka said the Chinese firm would bring in agro tech technologies into the agriculture sector of Zambia through the creation of farm bloc and High Tech Park.

"Currently two of our members are in China at your firm to learn on integrated processing methods in science high-tech and agro processing that will help stimulate growth in the industry," he said.

Longping had also pledged to develop high-tech agriculture research and development center at the agro high park.

This project stands to earn Zambia foreign exchange and create jobs in the rural areas.

According to ZDA, the team will send a technical team to work with experts in the agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Ministry of Lands to start the process of setting up a major agricultural farm bloc.

The delegation to China was represented by Mei Kebao vice-secretary of human provincial committee of the Communist party of China.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati said the Government faced a number of challenges in addressing rural poverty, which exceeds more than 70 per cent.

He said the MOU was part of the solution that would deal with key problems with regard to infrastructure and technology.
Original source: Times of Zambia
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