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China’s sovereign wealth fund shifts focus to agriculture
“China’s sovereign wealth fund is shifting its focus to invest in agriculture and global food supplies in a significant strategic move that reflects the priorities of the country’s new leadership.” The China Investment Corporation (CIC) will focus on irrigation, land transformation and animal feed production among other areas across value chains. CIC has roughly $650bn of assets under management of $200bn is invested outside the country. Alongside this article in the Financial Times, the Chairman of CIC has had a blog published with his own commentary on the news entitled ‘China will profit from feeding the world’s appetite’.
Further to last week’s mention of the Purchase from Africans for Africa programme in Ethiopia, this article on the World Food Programme’s (WFP) website gives a more detailed report on what is expected. Aiming to benefit 10,000 people, the programme is receiving support from the WFP and the FAO. It is expected that 37,500 metric tons of local grains will be purchased as part of the programme.
(World Food Programme)
‘No to ProSAVANA’ campaign video
The ‘No to ProSAVANA’ campaign has made a video about their protest aimed at recruiting more farmers and supporters to their cause. It accuses the ProSAVANA project of neo-colonialism and portrays the situation as a struggle for farmers to defend their land against what looks to be an impending take over by foreign business.
Zimbabwe-China agricultural machinery corruption case
Joseph Made, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Agriculture, is being accused of corruption having signed off on an agriculture deal with the partly state-owned Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE Corporation without having opened the deal up to tender. It is said to be worth $100mil and the equipment would be released once the Zimbabwean government paid 15% of the total value into ZTE’s account held by the China EXIM bank. The article also raises questions over why the equipment in the deal is for construction rather than agriculture.
Ghana-China cocoa joint venture under investigation
Ghana’s former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, is defending herself in court over a joint venture in cocoa processing signed by an NGO she runs and a Chinese agriculture and fisheries company. The case involves concessionary loans offered by China’s EXIM Bank in 1998 and the Chinese counterparts pulled out of the project due to political interference according to the article.
The Relevance of Chinese Agricultural Technologies for African Smallholder Farmers
This report published by Stellenbosch’s Centre for Chinese studies in 2009 might be of relevance for those working on technology transfer. It breaks down over a dozen different forms of agricultural technology and looks at them in the context of the markets they exist in and future prospects
(Centre for Chinese Studies (pdf download))
‘Chinese Migrants and Africa's Development: New Imperialists or Agents of Change?’
Giles Mohan,just published a new book that seeks to “systematically study the motivations, relationships and impact of this [Chinese] migration. It focuses not just on the Chinese migrants but also on the perceptions of, and linkages to, their African 'hosts'. By studying this everyday interaction we get a much richer picture of whether this is South-South cooperation, as political leaders would have us believe, or a more complex relationship that can both compromise and encourage African development.”
The New York Times journalist, Howard French, has just written a book on Chinese engagements in Africa, focusing largely on interviews with economic migrants..
(Random House publishers)
By Henry Tugendhat