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Sino-Kenya agricultural cooperation reaches critical milestone: officials

DATE:2015-12-18       SOURCE:Xinhua News Agency
 

NAIROBI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's bilateral cooperation with China in agriculture, livestock and fisheries has reached a critical milestone with implementation of joint programs to achieve food security and boost rural incomes, officials said on Thursday.

 

Speaking at a China-Kenya conference on agriculture cooperation in Nairobi, the acting Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Adan Mohamed said Beijing's contribution is critical to transform a sector that is the bedrock of Kenya's economy.

 

"Our bilateral cooperation with China in the agriculture sector has grown tremendously to cover wide areas like research, training and transfer of appropriate technologies," Mohamed said.

 

Kenyan officials joined a 45-member Chinese delegation to discuss strategic areas of cooperation in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sector during the Nairobi forum.

 

The Chinese delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, research institutions and agro-industry had earlier visited farms in Nairobi and the Rift Valley region.

 

Kenya intends to apply best practices from China to enhance agricultural productivity.

 

Mohamed noted that China's rapid modernization of its agriculture sector has been an inspiration to developing countries grappling with its stagnation due to under-investment and low technology uptake.

 

"The performance of our agriculture sector has not adequately addressed poverty, food insecurity and unemployment. It is our belief that appropriate technology from China will help tackle these bottlenecks," said Mohamed.

 

Sino-Kenya agricultural cooperation was elevated to new levels in May 2014 during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the East African nation.

 

The premier witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Chinese and Kenyan ministries of agriculture to strengthen cooperation in broad areas.

 

Mohamed said the MOU identified strategic areas of cooperation like exchange of agricultural technologies alongside joint research projects on improved crop varieties.

 

"The MOU specifically identifies potential areas of cooperation like exchange of germplasm, seed, nursery stock and breeding materials. It also focuses on trade in agriculture, livestock and fisheries commodities," said Mohamed.

 

He added that Kenya will cooperate with China to promote uptake of irrigation technologies alongside development of a home-grown agro-processing sector.

 

The Sino-Kenya bilateral cooperation in the agriculture sector is premised on mutual sharing of knowledge and experiences to boost production of key staples.

 

Zhao Weining, the Deputy Director of Department of International Cooperation in China's Ministry of Agriculture said Beijing is committed to a mutual partnership to help realize agricultural transformation in Kenya.

 

"At present, Sino-Kenya agricultural cooperation has reached new heights. We have actively implemented joint programs contained in the MOU signed in 2014 by our two governments," Zhao said.

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