Brief Reports on China-FAO South-South Cooperation (No.242 in total)

DATE: 2018-09-30 SOURCE:农业农村部对外经济合作中心 VIEWS:

The implementation of the DRC project has achieved positive results
1.Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) inspected the project
2. Leading high-yield cultivation and obtaining highlights of rice experiment and demonstration
3. Carrying out experiments of upland rice and exploring new paths for food security
1. Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in DRC inspected the project
On the sunny morning of June 16, 2018, Wang Xudong, Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in DRC, came to the project site - the Modern Agricultural Demonstration Park of Huayou and Katanga of Congo (DRC) (SHAD), to visit all the experts and hold talks with them.
Wei Xiangxin, the group leader, gave a report on the implementation of the project to Mr. Wang. In the past year, the expert group along with their local counterparts used SHAD as a platform to carry out experiments and demonstrations in sectors such as rice, dry farming, vegetables, plant protection, animal husbandry, aquatic products and agricultural machinery. At the same time, they also continued to set up demonstration sites in the surrounding areas, went to villages and households, and taught farmers in the field, which in turn gained increased yields. The professionalism of Chinese experts and Chinese technology were highly recognized by all parties. For the next step, the expert group will further strengthen cooperation with SHAD, actively explore new models for the synergy between the project and the enterprise to further expand the impact of the project.
At the vegetable demonstration area, while learning about the scale, type, technology, cost and market of vegetables, Mr. Wang took pictures of the lush and vibrant vegetables. He pointed to the cabbage and said that “I have never seen such good cabbage in DRC”.


 Counsellor Wang (in the middle) inspected the demonstration park        

       Counsellor Wang inspected the production of vegetables


  Counsellor Wang tried the corn thresher

  Counsellor Wang inspected livestock production

In the agricultural machinery workshop, technician Feng Xiaohui demonstrated the agricultural implements they made, including hand corn thresher, fruit picker, pig castration device, piglet feeding device, pig slaughtering rack, granular feed pressing machine, and soybean thresher. Mr. Wang also tried the corn thresher with great interest.
In the livestock and poultry demonstration area, Mr. Wang listened carefully to expert Jin Xiangyun’s introduction that they worked with the locals to collect 12 boxes of wild bees to produce high-quality honey. When he knew the increased production of sheep, laying hens, ducklings, geese, suckling pigs and pigs, he nodded and said “this is a good place for using your skills.”
Morning elapsed quickly. Before departure, Mr. Wang said, “I am so happy to see such an extraordinary agricultural demonstration project..”

2.Leading high-yield cultivation and obtaining highlights of rice experiment and demonstration
Rice is one of the priorities of SHAD project. Under the conditions of imperfect irrigation and drainage channels and lack of rice planting materials, the expert group made bold trials with earnest actions,, and they turned the 0.44 hectare of a weedy field into a bumper rice field. The average yield of rice reached 560 kg/mu, setting a new high for local rice production. Throughout the rice experiment process, there are four main highlights:
(1) Simple and practical technical measures
In line with the principle of “easy learning, useful, inseparable and sustainable”, the expert group adopted a number of simple and practical techniques, such as direct seeding of rice, soaking and germination, dry bed seedling, rice throwing, water saving irrigation, and moderate irrigation, which were widely welcomed by local farmers.


    Dry bed seedling   


Expert Rao Daheng guided rice transplanting

    Expert Rao Daheng and technician Hu Ming removed weeds in the field  


           The observation of rice during the middle growing season

(2)  Breeding seeds to reduce cost and improve efficiency
“Seed comes first for agriculture.” In response to the problem that local farmers could not afford the seeds, expert Rao Daheng bred 1.05 mu of high-yield conventional rice in SHAD, with the harvest of a total of 675.9 kg of seeds. Mr. Amouri Azama, coordinator of the DRC, was amazed by  the vigorous and neat growing of rice. He requested the expert group to mark and stock the seeds, and promote them in the province of Katanga in the second half of the year. To this end, the expert group has made necessary preparations for distribution and promotion of the seeds.
(3) Field schools for observation and exchanges
In the past few months, the expert group has opened more than ten field classes in key farming seasons such as sowing, transplanting, direct seeding and field management, and trained more than 500 people. The main beneficiaries include FAO (Lubunbashi) technical officers, partners and agricultural technicians from the Katanga Provincial Department of Agriculture, head of agricultural cooperatives around Lubumbashi and large grain growers, teachers and students from the Agricultural College of Lubumbashi University, and engineers employed by SHAD, local employees and participants from other enterprises. Through observation and exchanges, they will better understand and master the technical essentials and expand the project’s impact.
 (4) Leading production with tangible outcomes
The “comparative experiment of Chinese hybrid rice varieties” conducted in SHAD involves 7 rice varieties. Among them are 6 Chinese varieties provided by Huayou Cobalt (namely, Chuanxiangyou No.1101, Y Liangyou No. 1 and Qianyou No. 3, Bo Liangyou No. 2, Shen Liangyou No.1, Yueyou No.938), and one local variety JASMINE provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and and Rural Development of DRC, the yield of which were 760 kg/mu, 720 kg/mu, 713 kg/mu, 700 kg/mu, 680 kg/mu, 627 kg/mu and 485.7 kg/mu respectively. The increase of the yields of Chinese rice varieties compared to that of DRC rice is 56% to 29%. Through comparative experiments, the yield-increasing characteristics of Chinese rice varieties have been fully recognized by local officials. At the production site, Mr. Bau Douin, Director of Katanga Provincial Department of Agriculture, gave his thumbs up and said to Chinese experts, “I have been working in the agricultural sector for more than 30 years and have never seen such good rice. Chinese experts c’ est très bonne (outstanding)!" At the same time, the expert group also mastered a great deal of first-hand information on the adaptability of Chinese rice varieties, laying a foundation for future demonstration and promotion.
3. Carrying out experiments of upland rice and exploring new paths for food security
Entrusted by Huayou Cobalt, after five months of hard work, the expert group completed the trial planting of two Chinese upland rice varieties, and created a historical record of upland rice in Katanga Province. Through trial production, the expert group has obtained plenty of first-hand information, laying the foundation for exploring the new paths for food security in DRC.
Upland rice refers to rice varieties suitable for dryland cultivation, and which can be widely adapted to arid ecological environments such as dry land, hills and slopes. The water consumption of upland rice is only 1/5 of that of rice, and it can grow well with natural precipitation (if there is no rainfall in 7-10 days, it must be irrigated to protect the seedlings). It can be managed by taking a simple and extensive way to save costs and labor.
The experiment was carried out by using two rice varieties, namely, Hanyou No.73 (hybrid) and Huhan No.1059 (conventional), with the focus on exploring the feasibility of planting upland rice in the local area, and understanding the adaptability, water consumption and yield of different varieties. The site is the high dryland in SHAD, which relies mainly on the irrigation of natural precipitation. Three cultivation methods including broadcast sowing, drilling and bunch planting were adopted, while drilling was preferred. In the whole planting and production process, the investment in field management was minimized, and the cost and labor were reduced. In addition to natural precipitation, only two times of artificial irrigations were carried out, and the water consumption was significantly reduced compared with rice. The final average production (dry grain) of Hanyou No.73 and Huhan No.1059 is 568 kg/mu and 411 kg/mu, exceeding expectations.


    Upland rice direct seeding     


Seedling growth



The experiment was a complete success

The expert group’s experiments of upland rice have attracted much attention from local people, and they came to the site for learning. Mr. Amouri Azama, the coordinator of DRC said that DRC has a large area of dry soils that can be exploited and utilized. Planting upland rice can greatly increase food production and solve our food insecurity problem.
Although the experiment of upland rice has achieved good results, it was only a small-scale attempt. At present, Huayou Cobalt has planned to expand the area of upland rice to 100 mu in the next rainy season. The expert group will work continuously for concrete results and make positive contributions to the food security of the DRC.