3.29.2016

Agriculture Mechanisation:Inspiring Example From Hainan, South China

By Godlove BAINKONG, Cameroon Tribune
Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Agriculture Mechanisation Hainan, South China"The tropical province is the breadbasket of China and bedrock for China-Africa Agriculture Cooperation Forum.
 Mechanising Cameroon’s agriculture to step up production which government has been grappling with for years now could receive a new touch were authorities to tap from outside experience, one of which is that of the Hainan Province in South China. The tropical province of China, thanks to its proximity to the disputed South China Sea, stands out as an inspiring example of successful agriculture mechanization
and bountiful harvest.
Strides in Agriculture
Famous for tropical fruits and out-of-season vegetables eaten within and without the country, agriculture as a whole constitutes the mainstay of the Hainan population. In 2015 alone, authorities say agriculture contributed 5.8 per cent to the province’s Gross Domestic Product. Thanks to agricultural reforms in both mechanization and seed production put in place by the local authorities, production has been stepped up likewise farmers’ income. As production grew by 15.6 per cent in the past five years (though difficult to tell what produce got what production owing to the multiplicity of food crops here), farmers’ monthly income also moved from 5,275 Yuan to 10,900 Yuan (about FCFA 500,000 to One million monthly) from 2010 to 2015. This by far surpasses what civil servants; that many might envy in some developing countries, take home every month, if comparison were to be limited to monthly salaries alone.
The Secret
Farmers are supported here not with hoes, spades, cutlasses and wheelbarrows as is the case in other countries, but with reforms and production-enhancing policies. Ecologically, the area is blessed, just like others in Cameroon. But the difference is on the way seeds and seedlings are produced and given out. Seed production here is based on already carried out research on which area can produce what crop. Comparative advantage is taken into consideration with each area targeting what it produces best. Reason why there is diversity of fine products in almost all markets here in China. According to a plan already approved by China’s Central Government, Hainan is developing an 18,000-hectare land for vegetable seed production to feed the millions of farmers in the province alongside 3,500 hectares for seed production research and development. Farmlands are well spread out facilitating mechanization. The widely used drip irrigation also provides moisture for crops in an out of season. In Hainan for example, the local government has made full use of fiscal funding. China boasts of one of the best functional banks for agriculture with adapted funding for enhancing agricultural productivity. That the province attracts hundreds of direct overseas investment in agriculture annually therefore surprises no one. The importance of direct foreign investment in any country’s socio-economic development cannot be overemphasized.
Above all, from Haiko, passing through Wanning to Sanya, like is the case in all the over 18 main cities that make up the Hainan Province, all transport sectors are well developed. Double-carriage roads that are still luxuries elsewhere are common here. Railways with high-speed trains, maritime and even air transport are at best. With these, farmers have no difficulty conveying their produce from the farms to the markets. Coupled with advanced local processing of agricultural products in the country, a farmer in Hainan is able to live and let others live from his sweat. It is common here therefore to see a farmer with a luxurious car loaded with tropical fruits and other crops either going to sell in a market or to supply where demand had earlier been made. The South China University of Tropical Agriculture, which today distinguishes itself as a leading tropical agricultural education and research institution in China, is a big plus to giving agriculture an honour-roll position in the Province as well as in China’s impressive development.
Within the framework of the China-Africa agricultural modernization plan which consists, among others, in technology transfer, Cameroon could tap from this experience to journey out of incessant imports of food crops wherein it paradoxically has potentials to produce in bulk.

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