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More Chinese rice to arrive in drought-hit Africa

China will donate 4,000 tonnes of rice to drought-hit Namibia, following a rice donation to Zimbabwe as part of its rice aid to help tackle the continent’s food insecurity.

The Chinese embassy to Namibia said the aid aims to help alleviate hunger that is staring down upon most of Namibia due to persistent drought over the past three years.

Speaking at a reception at the Chinese Embassy to mark China’s National Day, Charge d’Affaires Wu Wei said that China has been following the on-going drought situation in Namibia closely and feels it can help.

“To aid our Namibian brothers and sisters in difficulties, the Chinese government has announced the assistance of 4,000 tonnes of rice,” he said.

“We are busy with the preparation work now and I believe the rice, which embodies our true friendship of going through thick and thin together, will be shipped soon to Namibia,” he added.

In June, Namibian President Hage Geingob officially declared a state of emergency in Namibia due to the drought.

China has been donating rice and bringing its farming technologies and high-yielding crops to African farmers to help the continent tackle its chronical food insecurity.

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe received 5,500 tonnes of rice donated by China to tackle the drought that has left up to 4 million Zimbabweans in need of food aid.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping said the rice is part of the total 19,000 tonnes worth 24.6 million U.S. dollars donated by the Chinese government to Zimbabwe.

Huang said the donation was in fulfillment of the drought relief pledge made to affected African countries by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in South Africa last December.

He said in support of Zimbabwe’s efforts to ensure national food security, China would also this year donate 10,000 tonnes of urea fertilizer.

Peter Annadumba, Director for South-South Cooperation of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the FAO is in partnership with China in helping African countries to increase rice production.

“FAO also has a big partnership with China and currently under the Rice Initiative, China is supporting Madagascar in terms of rice production, they are going to be supporting Cape Verde also in rice production.

“There are other Chinese programs that FAO is partnering with where we know that in Cameroon and in Tanzania, China has set up these agriculture demonstration centers for rice production where we are doing rice breeding over there. This is solely funded by China. As a result of these initiatives, rice production in the last two years has doubled,” Annadumba added.

 

source:xinhua|29 September 2016

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