China supports boosting agricultural potential of Portuguese-speaking countries

10 May 2010

Macau, China, 10 May – China is encouraging agricultural technology companies via the Macau Forum to join efforts to boost the largely unexploited agricultural potential of the Portuguese-speaking countries through research and training.

The Yuan Longping Agricultural High Technology Company and the Hunan Agricultural Group recently met with the Macau Forum’s Permanent Secretariat, which manifested support for the development of agricultural cooperation between China and the Portuguese language countries.

The assistant executive director of the Yuan Longping International Training Institute, Wang Xiusong, said that in 2008 the company began growing hybrid rice in East Timor, where it is also training local human resources in that area.

The company received support from the Forum and the Macau government for the translation and preparation of documents, which has facilitated efforts in that Portuguese-speaking country.

The meeting held last 22 April was also attended by the coordinator of Guinea-Bissau’s Liaison Office and its delegate at the Forum, Florzinha Monteiro, and by representatives from Cape Verde and Mozambique, respectively Francisco Mendes and Esmeralda Patrício.

Wang Xiusong defended “using the Macau Forum platform with the goal of providing support to the Portuguese language countries to train technical agriculture personnel, introduce the hybrid rice study and development system, promote growing techniques and increase food production.”

He also stressed the “large cost, long cycle and low profit” of agricultural production in the Portuguese language countries, a situation which according to the Macau Forum makes support policies necessary.

Yong Longping had previously received support to begin contacts with East Timor’s government regarding the cultivation of hybrid rice. In March 2005 this resulted in a cooperation protocol between the two parties.

The Secretariat organised with the company a colloquium on sustainable agriculture development in Changsha to train technical experts from the Portuguese language countries.

Yuan Longping has been charged by the Chinese Trade Ministry with organising a course to train technical experts in the cultivation of hybrid rice for the Portuguese language countries, which will run from this coming 8 June to 27 September in Changsha. The activity is included in the Macau Forum Permanent Secretariat’s activities programme for 2010.

According to the Forum, the aim is to enhance techniques used to cultivate hybrid rice in the Portuguese language countries, as determined in the Economic and Commercial Cooperation Action Plans signed at the ministerial conferences held in Macau in 2003 and 2006.

The Hunan Agricultural Group is also organising a training course on technology for olive production, cereals and agricultural irrigation in the Portuguese language countries. It will be held in Changsha from this 20 June to 28 August, also mandated by the Chinese Trade Ministry.

Agricultural technicians from the Portuguese-speaking countries are expected to participate in this activity, which is included in the Macau Forum Permanent Secretariat’s programme for 2010.

A meeting last 19 April was attended by the Macau Forum’s assistant secretary-general and by delegates from Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Angola, Joaquim Pereira da Gama.

The secretary-general, Chang Hexi, indicated to the Hunan Agricultural Group delegation headed by Yang Fuchu that it could use the Macau Forum as a springboard for exploring Portuguese-speaking markets and supporting closer relations. (macauhub)