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China, Nigeria agriculture institutes to cultivate food security

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2016-04-07 17:30

China's Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences joined hands with Nigeria's International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to improve food security in Africa and create job opportunities for the continent that’s booming in population, reports Nigerian newspaper Punch.

The two institutes agreed to work together on crop improvement, especially cassava, banana/plantain, spices, vegetables and cocoa, according to Katherine Lopez, IITA's head of communication. There will also be an Africa-China student and researcher exchange program.

'Germplasm' exchange and upstream research such as the development of molecular markers, genomics, mechanization, and breeding of cassava resistant to cassava mosaic disease and cold -tolerant cassava varieties are also included in the two parties' cooperation framework.

As a non-profit organization, the IITA is one of the world's leading research partners in finding solutions to hunger, malnutrition and poverty, the report said.

It also said IITA and CATAS will be working with GAWAL, a private Chinese agricultural firm, in Nigeria on several agricultural issues.

Agriculture is one of the 10 plans President Xi Jinping announced at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Johannesburg Summit, saying that China will boost cooperation with Africa in the coming three years.

The summit was held on December 4 -5 last year in South Africa.

To help Africa accelerate agricultural modernization, China will carry out agricultural development projects in 100 African villages to raise rural living standards, send 30 teams of agricultural experts to Africa and establish a "10+10" cooperation mechanism between Chinese and African agricultural research institutes, the president said.

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