Sao Tome and Principe Works with China on Agriculture Development

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Sao Tome and Principe
Xu Yingzhen, Chinese Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe attended the opening ceremony of the largest local cassava flour processing plant.

Mé-Zóchi, 7 May (TDI): Xu Yingzhen, China’s Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe visited Mé-Zóchi on Thursday. Xu attended the opening ceremony of the largest cassava flour processing plant in Sao Tome and Principe which was repaired with the assistance of Chinese experts. Francisco Martins dos Ramos, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Rural Development of São Tomé and Príncipe also participated in the ceremony.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CASSAVA IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

Cassava is a particularly important staple food for African people, especially for those poor farmers. The world produces about 230 million tons of cassava root tubers annually. In addition, the African continent produces half of the world’s cassava production. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in Africa and the world, with an annual output of 38 million tons and a planting area of about 410 hectares with other African countries following. Moreover, Nigeria has overtaken Brazil as the world’s largest producer of cassava.

Meanwhile, cassava is also an energy plant with great potential for development. Furthermore, cassava is one of the important pillars for the development of the biomass energy industry. Also, cassava’s root starch is one of the main industrial starch materials.

AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

Sao Tome and Principe is a typical African country, that is highly relying on cassava in its agriculture. With a lack of industrial development, 51% percent of the population in Sao Tome and Principe is engaged in agricultural production. Moreover, the country faces a backward agricultural production method. To be specific, the country is lack necessary agricultural machinery and tools, agricultural production technology, and poor agricultural infrastructure.

Therefore, to promote the development of agriculture, the government of Sao Tome and Principe has been widely working with international organizations, regional entities, and other nations. For instance, international and regional organizations such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have provided agricultural aid funds to the country. Also, Japan has donated a lot of rice to Sao Tome and Principe.

With international support, Ramos, the Minister of Agriculture of Sao Tome, and Principe signed a 100% organic protocol to guarantee national food security in 2020. The protocol aims to guarantee food and nutritional security through the production of nutritious and quality food for local and export markets.

SINO-SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE RELATIONSHIP

Sino-Sao Tome and Principe’s relations were once interrupted according to the relationship between Taiwan province and Sao Tome and Principe. In 2016, China and Sao Tome and Principe officially resumed diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level.

China,Sao Tome and Principe
In 2016, China and Sao Tome and Principe officially resumed diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level.

Since then, China and Sao Tome and Principe have been working together to promote the development of the country. In the year 2018, both sides signed four agreements to cooperate in agriculture, technology, and cultural affairs in Beijing.

In 2020, the trade volume between China and Sao Tome and Principe was 20.33 million USD. Besides economic cooperation, China has also sent medical groups to Sao Tome and Principe. Chinese medical aid to Sao Tome and Principe plays a significant role in the context of COVID-19. Also, by accepting Sao Tome and Principe students, both sides have strengthened bilateral people-to-people exchange.

China’s support of the largest cassava flour processing plant is a typical sign to show the growing bilateral cooperation. More comprehensive and meaningful collaboration is coming in the near future.

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