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Chinese-invested agricultural project benefits poverty- stricken families in Africa

(Xinhua)

08:06, August 08, 2012

LUSAKA, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Rosann Monga, a 37-year old farmer and his 6-member family in Eastern Province of Zambia has been benefited from a Chinese-invested agricultural project in the southern African country.

In a 1.2 hectare private land, Monga and his wife Mudenda as well as his four children enjoyed the harvest season for cotton, which make the poverty-stricken family live a better life.

Monga is one of the 200,000 farmers in Africa who signed contract with China-Africa Cotton Corporation and earn a life by planting cotton for the company.

"I plant cotton in my land with free seeds, farming instruments and fertilizer from the Chinese investor, which will also buy all harvested cotton back from me," Monga said, adding that the income from planting and selling cotton reaches about 800 U.S. dollars per year, a sum enough for daily cost of his family and even can be part of education fees for his children.

According to local agricultural department, farmers in the province earn an average of 200 U.S. dollars per person.

Grace Lubanwa, an economist in the Lipade Research Institute, said that the arrival of Chinese enterprises in the country has injected energy into Zambia's economic progress and social development.

The income from the Chinese investors is very important for the poverty-stricken families, especially in rural area, who lack chances for jobs with monthly salary, she said.

Following the establishment of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000, China-Africa Development Fund was launched in 2007. According to official statistics, China has so far signed bilateral agreements on investment promotion and protection with 33 African countries and is constructing economic and trade cooperation zones in 6 countries on the continent.

Wang Hongwei, general manager of Bank of China (Zambia) Limited, said in a recent interview with Xinhua that Chinese investors in the southern African country have come to agree that the only way to promote their projects is to seek win-win cooperation with local communities.

According to Wang, more and more Chinese enterprisers in Zambia have achieved win-win development both for themselves and local communities through aid projects, contracting and investment cooperation, etc.

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