Friday May 25, 2018
Home > News > Society
Text:| Print|

China lifts Congolese people's hope for food self-sufficiency

2013-03-28 16:03 Xinhua     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

With hectares of maize plants growing neatly in rows, ridges of jade-green vegetables, and thousands of robust chickens scrambling for feedstuff, the landscape looked amazing. That was what the Xinhua correspondents saw at the Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in the Republic of Congo.

The facility, located in Gombe, a suburban area of capital Brazzaville, was opened in 2011 to help the Congolese to become self-sufficient in food supply.

With two years of hard work by the Chinese, the once barren land of wilderness has been transformed. This was no easy feat for the center's Chinese experts, who came to work in this African country since April 2011.

They have encountered all kinds of difficulties, such as lack of supplies, frequent outbreak of plant diseases and tough road conditions, said You Wen, an interpreter for the Chinese side from the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture.

"We made tables and beds out of door planks...There was a time when I have not had a bath for more than 96 hours, since there is no water, so I can only clean my face and hands with wet paper towels," You told Xinhua.

But that was not the worst, she said, explaining that scarcity of fertilizer in local market forced them burn off weeds and use the ash as home-made fertilizer.

Power shortage also haunted the Chinese experts. "we can't use the pumping machine to irrigate the fields, so we dug up a reservoir and made by hand some irrigating tools out of plastic bottles," You said.


Despite poor supplies, the Chinese remained optimistic and pragmatic.

Dang Xuanmin, an expert in tropical vegetables, often got up at midnight to water the field when the electricity resumed.

Another "crazy" thing for Dang is to get up at 4:00 a.m. to fertilize the flowers of the fruit and vegetables, what in his word is "to race with the bees."

The expert specially developed watermelons, cucumbers, and eggplants, larger in size and better in taste, have once impressed the Congolese Agriculture Minister Rigobert Maboundou.

Dang is not the only workaholic among his Chinese colleagues.

Xue Maofu, a cassava planting expert, usually works as long as four to five hours a day in the field under the scotching sun.

In order to talk to the locals more smoothly, livestock expert Sun Weiping often studies French into late nights with a flashlight when there's no power, and recites vocabulary in early morning.

You Wen, the only interpreter in the team, appears whenever she is needed, and even does field work sometimes. Her dedication has won her the nickname "Miss Gombe" among local residents.

Comments (0)

Copyright ©1999-2011 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.