Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

China to Build Agricultural Research Facility in Mali

11 July. China plans to build a centre for agricultural research and technological demonstration near Bamako, Mali, to carry out experiments and technical training, and to contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture in the country, according to an agreement between the two governments announced last month .

The centre - to be built this year on a 20 hectare site in Baguinéda in the region of Koulikoro, 40 kilometres from the country's capital, Bamako - will focus on developing rice, maize and horticultural production. It will be built at an estimated cost of 55 million Chinese yuan (around US$8.6 million), with a loan from China.

Speaking at FOCAC, Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, said that that China had built 20 agricultural technology demonstration facilities across the African continent. China "will build more agricultural technology demonstration centres [...] to help African countries increase production capacity," Hu added.
Anastase Hessou Azontondé, head of the soil science, water and environment laboratory at the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB), said the centre would use Chinese funds to "bring to Mali technologies developed by Chinese talent and experience".

It is part of China's soft power diplomacy and research strategy, according to Azontondé, who said: "The results will be most useful to Africa".

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