Dji­bouti and Bu­rundi agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion with China pro­duc­ing sus­tain­able re­sults

ChinAfrica - - China Report -

MOUSSA Ibrahim Cheik never ceases to be amazed at the rapid changes tak­ing place in his coun­try.

When­ever he trav­els abroad and re­turns home to Dji­bouti, it’s al­most as if de­vel­op­ment is in fast for­ward mode, said the di­rec­tor gen­eral of Live­stock and Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices at Dji­bouti’s Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Water, Fish­eries, An­i­mal and Mar­itime Re­sources.

Much of this de­vel­op­ment has taken place through Dji­bouti-china col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts over the past years with the many large in­fra­struc­ture projects like new sea­ports, air­ports, rail­way and a 48-hectare free trade area with sea ac­cess.

But it is in the area of agri­cul­ture that the small East African coun­try, with an area equiv­a­lent to about one and a half times the size of Bei­jing, is mak­ing strides that may not be as no­tice­able as th­ese other mega projects, but to Cheik are just as in­spir­ing and vi­tal to the coun­try’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ment.

Along with eight other agri­cul­ture of­fi­cials from five African coun­tries, Cheik was re­cently in China for a train­ing pro­gram on sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment for se­nior African of­fi­cials. Or­ga­nized by the Cen­ter of In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Ser­vice of China’s Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture in late July, the 11-day train­ing in­cluded sem­i­nars and prac­ti­cal field stud­ies in Bei­jing and Hunan Prov­ince.

Back home in Dji­bouti, part of Cheik’s man­date is to work with Chi­nese agri­cul­tural ex­perts dis­patched to the African coun­try to as­sist its agri­cul­tural

African agri­cul­ture of­fi­cials pose with Yuan Long­ping (sixth right), known as the “fa­ther of hy­brid rice” in China

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