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Chinese agriculture in Africa: Perspectives of Chinese agronomists on agricultural aid

Chinese actors are increasingly engaging in African agriculture. Despite China’s innovative approaches to aid and assertions of comparative advantage in agriculture technologies, experience shows that technologies that have worked well in China may not offer the same benefits when transferred to Africa. The perspective of the Chinese agronomists implementing these initiatives is largely missing from the literature on China-Africa agricultural engagements. This paper presents the reflections of more than 160 Chinese agronomists who have spent time implementing agriculture-aid projects in Africa. Although Chinese agricultural aid in Africa dates back to the 1950s, there has never been an attempt to systematically gather the perspectives of practitioners implementing these projects on the ground. This research, conducted by the a research division of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, can be seen as a first step to gain insight into their experiences, in order to allow productive dialogue among Chinese and international stakeholders on improving the design and management of Chinese agricultural aid programmes in Africa.

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Buckley, L et al. (2017) Chinese agriculture in Africa: Perspectives of Chinese agronomists on agricultural aid. Discussion Paper, IIED, London.
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China's economic progress over the past few decades has been dramatic, but so are the challenges in social and environmental governance both within the country and in its overseas engagement. IIED's China team works to improve China's role as an international development actor at home and abroad, particularly in Africa.

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