Speech at the China Africa Agriculture Cooperation and Development Summit

China's Ambassador to Zambia, H.E. Mr. Yang Youming 
Foreign Ministry of the PRC | 6 August 2017

Speech at the China Africa Agriculture Cooperation and Development Summit

by China's Ambassador to Zambia H.E Mr Yang Youming
Your Honorable Mrs. Dora Siliya, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Zambia,
Your Honorable Mr. Michael Katambo, Minister of Fisheries and Livestock
Your Honorable Mr. Lloyd Kaziya, Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection,
Mrs. Caroline Silwamba, Vice President of the Agriculture and Commercial Society of Zambia,
Mrs. Fu Xueliu, Chief Editor of China Agriculture Film and Television Center,
Mr. Nan Gengxu, Director of the Global Max Media Group,
Entrepreneurs from both Zambia and China,
Friends from the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning!
I'm very pleased to be here today for the China African Agriculture Cooperation and Development Summit, jointly hosted by China Agriculture Film and Television Center and Global Max Media Group. China Agriculture Film and Television Center is the most influential media in the field of agriculture in China, and its affiliated agricultural television channel CCTV7 covers millions of households throughout the country. The Global Max Media Group, on the other hand, with its rapid development in Africa, has become an important media spreading information among Chinese nationals living in Africa. I believe that, this summit held by the two media organizations, will play an important role in pushing forward the agricultural cooperation between China and Zambia, as well as in improving the development of the agricultural sector of Zambia.
As we all know, Zambia has a fertile arable land of 43.2 million hectares, with 3.23 hectares per person, which is 35 times as many as that in China. Sunlight is so abundant in Zambia that the average duration of sunlight per year exceeds 2,500 hours. Zambia is also rich in water resources, possessing 25% of the surface water and 45% of the underground water in Southern Africa. And furthermore there is sharp contrast in temperature between day and night in Zambia, which is suitable for the growth of various kinds of crops.
In a word, Zambia is endowed with favourable natural conditions for the development of agriculture. On the other hand, China has a cutting edge in capital, technology and experience. That means the two countries are highly complementary for agricultural cooperation.
As all-weather friends, China and Zambia have maintained long-term mutual beneficial cooperation in various fields, and this is no exception in agriculture. As the key developing sector for both China and Zambia, the two countries have made the following great achievements in agricultural cooperation under the framework of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in recent years.
The first is the agricultural technical cooperation. The China-Aid China-Zambia agricultural technical demonstration center, which is one of the first 14 agricultural technical demonstration centers that China has set up in Africa, was launched in 2012. Since then, over 1,000 Zambian agricultural technicians have been trained in the center by experts from China. The center has also carried out fruitful cooperation with Zambian institutes such as UNZA, in agricultural research and education. Moreover, currently the Chinese side is discussing with the Zambian side to implement the "10+10" cooperation project between Chinese and African agricultural research institutes.
The second is the agricultural infrastructure projects. The Chinese government provided concessional loan and assisted the Zambian government in building 9 large-scale silos, which alleviated the shortage of the storage capacity for the agricultural products in Zambia. The China-aid borehole project has entered into the second phase, with an aggregate total of over 1,000 boreholes for Zambian rural areas. So far over 700 boreholes have already been completed and used to provide clean water to tens of thousands of Zambian rural population. Furthermore, the investigation of the 3 China-aid large-scale milling plants has been completed and the actual construction will start soon.
The third is the human resource training. The Chinese government currently provides about 100 training opportunities to the agricultural sector of Zambia every year, which is the largest number among all sectors, covering crop planting, pest disease prevention and control, agricultural product processing and livestock breeding. Over 500 Zambian participants so far have received training in China through this program.
The fourth is the investment in the agricultural sector. More than 20 farms invested by Chinese nationals or companies are now operating in Zambia, with a total cultivated land of over 10 thousand hectares. The China-Africa Cotton Development Limited leads in the development of cotton growing in the Eastern Province, and has created an agricultural industrial park close to Chipata, which has been recognized as one of the first batch of overseas agricultural product processing zones by the Chinese government. The Jihai Agricultural Investment Group runs a mushroom plant in the Lusaka East multi-function Economic Zone, and has opened a market trading agricultural products in Lusaka. And the China Railway Seventh Group plans to open an agricultural industrial park in Kalungwishi, Northern Province.
Ladies and gentlemen,
If the agricultural cooperation between China and Zambia was in its exploratory stage in the precious years, it has now entered into a fast development period. At the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit held at the end of 2015, Chinese president H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping announced the Ten China-Africa Cooperation Plans, among which the China-Africa agricultural modernization plan is one of the most important components. China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in large-scale farming, animal husbandry, grain storage and processing in Africa. China is also committed to carry out agricultural development projects in 100 African villages to raise rural living standards, send 30 teams of agricultural experts to Africa, and implement the "10+10" cooperation project between Chinese and African agricultural research institutes.
I believe that, with the joint efforts of China and Zambia, the agricultural cooperation between our two countries will yield more extensive and fruitful results.
The entrepreneurs present today, as you can see, there is great potential in the development of agriculture, and vast space for your investment in the agricultural sector in Zambia. It is my hope that you will seize the opportunity of the moment to exploit the Zambian market, to develop the mutually beneficial cooperation with the Zambian side to improve the internationalization and diversification of your enterprises, and at the same time, to push forward the development of the Zambian agricultural sector, to improve the livelihood of the rural areas of Zambia, and to make greater achievements in the China-Zambia cooperation in the agriculture field.
Thank you!
Original source: FMPRC

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