Arabs, Africa can benefit from Chinese agricultural expertise: expert

09:52, February 17, 2010      

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The Arab and African countries can benefit from the Chinese expertise in agriculture, which will facilitate the whole region's strategies for food security, an agriculture expert said Tuesday.

"China is so developed in the field of genetic engineering that is related to animals or plants, and they have been working for long to produce disease-resistant plants and seeds, as well as carrying out studies on artificial fertilization and hybridization, " said Ebrahim Yusuf Ahmed, an animal wealth expert and the director of Animal Wealth Directorate in the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture of Bahrain.

"All these experiences can be transferred by China to Africa and the Arab world. This can help increase the agricultural and animal production and hence raise the food security level," he said.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of a three-day joint African-Arab ministerial meeting on agriculture and food security, which concluded Tuesday.

"We cooperate with China. There is an agreement on cooperation in the field of plant and animal production as well as the fish wealth since 2000 ... China sends us experts in the field of plant and animal production as well as fishery," he added.

Asked about an Afro-Arab joint action plan adopted by the meeting, the expert said that Africa faces some challenges in regard to the productivity of its animal wealth and the spread of diseases.

The expert said the African countries need to improve its agricultural productivity and veterinary services, and the Arabs should provide technical support, funds and programs to train African breeders and establish research agencies.

"We in the Gulf area import cattle from Europe to produce milk. When Africa has cattle that can produce big quantity of milk, we can then move towards Africa. It is a neighboring area and we are acquainted with it," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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