Chinese rice production expertise impresses Malawian authorities

(Xinhua) 13:18, February 20, 2023

LILONGWE, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in the agriculture sector in Malawi have described Chinese rice production practices as extremely rewarding and key to the improvement of the cereal's production in the southern African country.

Malawian senior officers in the ministry of agriculture made the remarks Friday in the capital, Lilongwe, at the closing of a three-day rice production training facilitated by the Chinese agricultural technical team.

The training was one of the planned activities under the China Aid Project for Agricultural Technical Cooperation in Malawi. It brought together around 40 extension workers drawn from the country's agricultural development divisions.

Rice breeder and manager for Malawi's local rice research station, Cornwell Iman, described the practices in Chinese rice production as inspiring and worth adopting. "I found the training very relevant. What we've learned is that the Chinese have rice varieties that can produce up to 15 Metric Tons per hectare, which is a huge milestone compared to ours which produces between 4 Metric Tons and 6 Metric Tons per hectare," explained Iman.

He said with enough resources, Malawi could adopt the Chinese rice production practices and even consider evaluating the Chinese high-yielding rice varieties for farmers to adopt.

Chief agriculture officer in the department of crops in Malawi John Enoch, concurred with the local researcher saying the country could improve rice production with the new knowledge that the extension workers had acquired from the training.

"If we can adopt the Chinese rice production techniques, there's a lot of potentials that even with our varieties we can double our production to somewhere between 8 Metric Tons and 10 Metric Tons per hectare," explained the chief agriculture officer.

He further appealed to the Chinese agricultural technical team for more training for as many extension officers as possible across the country.

According to the Chinese agricultural technical team leader, Zhang Jianwu, up to 250 extension workers will be trained in a series of sessions that have been planned for the year.

In March, for instance, the team will train more extension workers on cotton and maize production.

During the opening of the training Wednesday, Counsellor Zhang Chunfa from the Chinese Embassy in Malawi pledged his government's continued support to Malawi's agriculture sector.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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