Wednesday, 5 November 2014

31 October 2014: China and Brazil in African agriculture - news roundup

This news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project.

For regular updates from the project, sign up to the CBAA newsletter.

What is China’s “model”?
In an article for the Chinese periodical Global Times, Prof. Li Xiaoyun reflects on the idea of sharing China’s model with Africa, and argues that the real model is that China followed its own path. The problem with trying to find the Chinese “model” is that explanations may be based in Western discourses that cannot properly reflect China’s experiences, or they highlight elements that were relatively unimportant from China’s own perspective.
(Global Times: Chinese version / English version)

China’s ambassador to Ghana visits Wynca Sunshine group
The Chinese ambassador to Ghana has visited Wynca Sunshine’s new rural headquarters outside of Kumasi. It is notable that the embassy is now taking an interest in the company, as interviews last year suggested that the company in Ghana had grown independently of Chinese embassy support. (in Chinese)

Ramos-Horta on relations between Africa and Latin-American
Former Timor-Leste president, José Ramos-Horta, said at a recent conference that Africa-Latin American relations were really an academic dialogue as the trade element is lacking. He stressed that their commercial relations are largely intra-African or with the EU and USA. However, he drew attention to Brazil as the only real exception to this trend, based on its financial and technological engagements.
(RTP – in Portuguese)

BRICS UN Nutrition meeting focuses on hunger and malnutrition
BRICS countries met at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), ahead of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) scheduled to take place in November 2014. “Hunger” was the focus of a public debate about nutrition, including what they termed “hidden hunger” in the form of micronutrient deficiencies.
(Prensa Latina / Brazil Business)

Deborah Brautigam highlights the value of the FAOSTAT website for agricultural statistics concerning China-Africa agricultural relations. She mentions it has been useful in her research to show that despite narratives of China wanting to source more food in Africa, at present it is exporting far more food to Africa than it is importing.
(China in Africa: the real story)

China Agricultural University honours President Kikwete
China Agricultural University has awarded Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, an honorary Professorship for his work on a green revolution. In his acceptance speech he said that “China motivates us very much and it makes us believe that we can make quick economic transformations for our people, just as long as we have the right policies that are tailor-made for the economy".
(Daily News)
International GMO conference held in Wuhan
Amidst the ongoing controversy over Genetically Modified Crops in China, an international conference on the subject was held in Wuhan with the China Academy of Sciences on October 16th and 17th. Seminars involved researchers from China, Brazil and the USA among other countries. It is currently illegal to sell genetically modified rice in China on the open market, along with several other types of seed.
( – in Chinese / – in Chinese)

Public Private (Farmer) Partnerships
A new research project between IDS, IIED and the International Fund for Agricultural Development has been looking at how to create successful Public Private Partnerships in the agricultural sector. Their initial findings are presented in this blog with the final report due to be published in early 2015.
(Globalisation and Development blog)