6 February 2015: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup

China seeks higher profile for its GM crops in global markets

Article in Xinhua news that quotes a vice-director of the central agricultural working group as saying that China should not let GM markets be dominated by other countries. The strengthening of research, safe management and dissemination in GM crops are specifically listed in this year’s No. 1 Central Document (China’s first policy document of the year). The article also mentions that China used to have the fourth largest area of planted GM crops, but has since been overtaken by Brazil and India. Currently China’s most commercialised GM crops are said to be cotton and papaya.
(News.Sina.com – in Chinese)

China-Africa Development Fund calls for more corporate responsibility

The China-Africa Development Fund has called for increased Corporate Social Responsibility practices by the companies it invests in. The fund has already invested in a number of companies such as the China-Africa Agriculture Investment Co Ltd, China Star Corp, and China Africa Cotton Development Ltd. The latter has reportedly already “invested about $60 million in several African countries, including Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, to support more than 200,000 farming households with their cottonseed processing plants.”
(China Daily)

Africa ‘must rethink approach to agriculture investment’

Morocco’s agriculture minister says African governments could attract more investment by better defining the value proposition for investors—something Morocco has done as part of its own successful efforts to boost its agricultural productivity. Since 2008, under its so-called Plan Vert (Green Plan), Morocco has boosted agricultural output by more than 40%. The strategy is aimed at growing both small-scale farming and larger-scale commercial agriculture through a range of reforms in areas such as water management, access to inputs—such as seed and fertilizers—and improving access for farmers to their markets.

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

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