Chinese Agricultural Aid in
Tanzania:
Reproduction of Chinese
Agricultural Regime
Zhang Yue
PhD Candidate
College of Humanities and Development Studies/
Research Center of International Development,
China Agricultural University
14,Feb, 2014 Canberra
OUTLINE
 Background
 Research goal
 Methodology
 Research findings
-Technology
-Institution
-Reality
Background
 China as a new development partner
In recent years, China is undergoing important transformation
from a recipient country to a new donor, attracting a growing
research interest in China’s aid.
 China’s experiences in agricultural development
China’s agriculture annual average growth rate is 4.5
percent(1978–2009), total grain output at 2.4 percent and
population at 1.07 percent. Agriculture and total grain output
consequently outpaced population growth, which enabled
China to feed a population accounting for 20 per cent of the
world’s total from its limited arable land (11 percent of the
world’s total) using water resources equivalent to 25 percent of
the world average (Huang 2008).
Agriculture growth is an important contributor to reducing
China’s rural poverty
Background
 China’s agricultural foreign aid
4.3% of total Chinese foreign aid (until 2009)
Chinese agricultural aid to Africa is growing rapidly and having
increasingly important impact on African agricultural
development and poverty reduction.
 Agricultural aid forms
-Farm
-Experiment and promotion stations of agro-technology
-Constructing farmland irrigation and water-conservancy
projects
-Supplying agricultural machinery and implements, farm
produce processing equipment and related agricultural
materials
-Dispatching agro technicians and senior agricultural experts to
pass on agricultural production technologies and provide
consultations on rural development, and training agricultural
personnel for recipient countries
-Agricultural technology demonstration center (2006)
Background
 Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center
Chinese agricultural technology demonstration center is one of the main
forms of Chinese agricultural aid after the third Forum on China-Africa
Cooperation FOCAC in 2006.
 Tanzania Case
2008-2009.06 preparation
2009.10-2010.10 construction
2011.04 handover to Tanzania Government
Investment: 40 million RMB
The center covers a total area of 62 hectares, and will express 3 functions:
1. Experiment and Research:The experiment will be a blend of all the trials
for rice, maize, vegetable, tissue culture of banana, as well as trial in raising
egg layer.
2. Training:Train the agricultural official, technicians, service personnel and
the local farmers with the advanced technologies. Train 300 person annually.
3. Demonstration and Extending:Demonstrate and extend new varieties
and matching cultivation techniques.
This center provides a good
case for understanding realities
and nature of Chinese
agricultural aid.
Research goal
 The purpose of the research is to provide a picture of how Chinese
experts do agricultural aid in African countries.
 I explore the following questions through the case study of
Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in
Tanzania: Who are implementing agricultural aid project in African
countries? What are they doing in daily work? What knowledge
and technologies of agricultural production do they introduce to
local people? What is the institutional arrangement of the aid
project? What does the center achieve in helping Tanzania’s
agriculture production? What are the similarities and differences
between the Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration
Center project and western donor’s agricultural projects? …
 Through the empirical study, I argue that of Chinese Agricultural
Technology Demonstration is a process of reproduction of Chinese
agricultural development experiences,consisting of biological
high-yield technology and state-driven, market-mediated
institutional arrangement.
Methodology
Ethnographic methodologies are employed in my field
research in Chinese agricultural technology
demonstration center in Tanzania.
I lived in the center and worked alongside a team of six
Chinese agronomists and ten local employees for almost
three months.
Information collecting techniques:
 Participatory observation
 Interviews
 Second-hand data
Research Findings
1. Technology
1.1 China’s technology-centered agricultural modernization
 Mao’s “Eight-Point Charter for Agriculture”
-soil improvement
-fertilizer application
-water conservancy
-seed-strain improvement
-close planting
-plant protection
-field management
-tool reform
 High biological yield
1.2 Chinese agronomists apply agricultural technologies,
which are used and using in China’s own agriculture
development, in Tanzania.
 The Demonstration Center of China agricultural technology
in Tanzania was designed to be a platform for trial,
demonstration and training, focusing on rice.
 The rice trials used several selected Chinese high-yield and
high-quality hybrid rice varieties and local conventional rice
varieties to do controlled trial. Chinese experts designed and
did the fieldwork mainly by themselves in the whole process
of rice cultivation, and strictly followed the field management
principles that they do in China. Deep plowing on the trial
farmland, which is dry and overgrown with weeds; preparing
paddy field;transplanting; applying appropriate fertilizer in
accurate timing; sufficient and timely irrigation, weeding and
pest control. They work in the field almost everyday, without
weekend.
1.3 Chinese rice varieties and matching cultivation
techniques bring high yield to African land.
 The trial result showed that the yield of Chinese hybrid
varieties is about twice of the yield of the local
conventional varieties.
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1.4 Chinese rice technology with the main character
of high yield attracted local farmers’ attention.
 In the time of harvest, the Demonstration Center held a field show
and invited farmers and agricultural technicians nearby to come
and see. One Chinese expert said to visitors: “The characters of
Chinese variety are high yield, big rice ear, and short growth
period. Under same investment, Chinese hybrid varieties’ yield will
at least increase 50%.” And in another occasion Chinese experts
also said, “if you are interested in Chinese varieties, you can get
them, but you must cultivate it follow our requirement and standers.
If you cultivate Chinese varieties in your conventional way, you still
can not get high yield”.
 One local farmer, who is also a safeguard in the center, said:
“They (the Chinese Experts) are demonstrating how to plant rice,
they show the spacing, if you want to plant in space, you plant like
this, you plant the seed when it is in this size, this and that, you
use this fertilizer, you use this amount of water, you use this
amount of seeds. And the season goes very fast, and the result is
there. Then everyone see. There is light shining there that if you
doing this, the poverty will be alleviated. Some villagers say
Chinese can do everything”.
1.5 Agricultural technologies and knowledge
demonstrated in the Chinese agricultural technology
demonstration center center in Tanzania, is exactly
China’s own experiences in agricultural development,
achieving high biological yield by using improved
varieties and labor-intensified high-yield cultivation
techniques.
2. Institution
2.1 Chinese agricultural technology extension history
and experiences
 Commercial reform (1990s)
 State-driven, market-mediated and small farmer-based
strategy
 Multi-functional
 Practical
 2.2 The center’s management structure and
operation mode show that Chinese state-market
relationship is the underlying principle of Chinese
aid program. The government allows companies to
engage in aid program to ensure sustainability
based on multi-functional goals.
 The Chinese government (MOA, MOFCOM) set up
basic principles and cooperation structure, monitor, and
evaluate.
 The project has been carried out by Chongqing SinoTanzania Agriculture Development Co., Ltd
Ministry of
Agriculture
Ministry of
Commerce
People’s
government of
Chongqing
Chongqing
Academy of
Agricultural
Sciences
Chongqing
Zhongyi
Seed
Company
Chongqing SinoTanzania Agriculture
Development Co., Ltd
The Center (six
Chinese agronomists)
2.3 The engagement of private sector makes the
government-led agricultural technology
demonstration center into a multi-functional project,
and improves efficiency and sustainability of the aid
project.
provide
gain
government
Platform; political
support; finance;
Well-running and sustainable
aid project;
Political and economical;
company
Agronomists;
technology;
Business interest;
new market;
3. Reality
 All of these above show that Chinese agricultural aid is
deeply shaped by China’s own agricultural
development experiences, which is the basic political
and cultural character of Chinese aid.
 When Chinese agricultural development experiences
met African agricultural reality, inadaptability showed up.
Agricultural technologies rooted in China’s social and
economic condition can not fully adapted to Africa’s
reality without adjustment.
High yield only in the center’s trial land,not local
famers’ until now.
Explanations:
1.Chinese high-yield variety VS local conventional variety
(Taste)
2.High input VS low income (Fertilizer and machinery)
3.Labor-intensive VS land intensive (resource endowment)
4.Strong government VS relatively weak government
Two projects in one village
There are two agricultural aid projects going on in this small village.
One is the Chinese agricultural technology demonstration center and
the other one is USAID Feed the Future Initiatives.
I tried to illustrate some differences between this two projects by
details.
Chinese government
USAID
Infrastructure
Money
Technical professionals (in field)
Project managers (in office)
High yield
Capacity
No gender
Gender
Every farmer can come
Democracy, selection
Work with government institutions
Work with famers’ association
Thank you!
Email: [email protected]
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Chinese Agricultural Aid in Tanzania