文 | 刘贝 温利 中工国际工程股份有限公司
图片提供 | 中工国际工程股份有限公司
编辑 | 杨海霞
设计 | 姜灵枝
制作 | 黄硕存
Pedro’s African Dream
Author | Liu Bei, Wen Li, (CAMCE)
Translated | Sun Ruohan
Design | Jiang Lingzhi
Production | Huang Shuocun
● Chinese Farm Builds “African Dream”
●Joint Development for the Farm and Local Community
●Agricultural Cooperation: A Practice of A Community of Shared Future between China and Africa
Pedro lives in the village of DiaDia, which is next to the Cuimba Farm in Angola. His family and him have been farmers for generations. In July 2014, together with all the other villagers, he stared at a number of large trucks loaded with numerous equipment and materials driving to a wide open space a few kilometers near the village. People from the city said that a Chinese company would build a modern agro-industrial farm in this place. The farm belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Back in those days, Pedro and the rest of villagers had no idea of what modernization and agro-industrial farm meant. Out of curiosity, they ran to the Chinese camps, where Chinese engineers and agricultural experts have long been waiting.
A few years later, Cuimba Farm has injected a strong growth to the local economy and changed villagers’ lives enormously.
In June this year, journalists from China Daily came, in the aim of giving the farm a full-scale coverage. Farm’s manager chose Pedro as local worker’s representative to take the interview. He was very nervous, he only saw managers being interviewed on TV, he never thought he’d have a chance.
“Thanks to Cuimba Farm for giving me the first job in my life. I have learnt a lot about equipment and machinery during those years working with Chinese, and this job helps me feed my family and support my children. Cuimba Farm is the only place nearby offering job opportunities, so I hope I could continue working in the farm. Otherwise I’d have to go back home as a farmer, just like most of the people in my country.” Said Pedro.
Chinese Farm Builds “African Dream”
Previously, in the village of DiaDia where Pedro lives, dozens of households lived on soybeans, corn and cassava. More than 60 kilometers from the provincial capital, the road is rugged and there are no shuttle buses. The nearest city is Cuimba, 20 kilometers away. The village has not been electrified, and the villagers live in houses with mud-green walls and grassy roofs. There are many rains in Africa. Generally, every few years, the houses need to be rebuilt, and very few villagers have brick houses with colored steel roofs. In the past, people had to go to the nearby river to bring drinking water back. Last year, the government made the village a well. For Pedro, life is hard to change, and the road has kept everything from going out nor coming in.
There are no large-scale industrial projects in the whole city of Cuimba or even dozens of kilometers away from Cuimba. Most of the local residents are mainly in family farming sector, and are basically self-sufficient. Cuimba Farm has become the only project in the region that can provide a large number of jobs.
The Cuimba Agro-Industrial Farm Project is financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (EIBC). China CAMC Engineering Corporation (CAMCE) is responsible for the construction, mainly for large-scale corn planting, feed processing, poultry breeding and egg production.
The construction of the farm requires a large amount of labor, which attracts young people from dozens of kilometers away to apply for. Pedro is a diligent and capable young man who managed to enter the project site and was assigned to the agricultural machinery and equipment area to work. His main job is to assist the mechanics with the maintenance of the tractors and other equipment.
An engineer from China told him, if he could study hard, one day he can drive and repair the tractor by himself, which made him very excited. He has never seen such a large tractor, and the Chinese instructor taught him with great patience. Pedro has never attended any schools, nor do other young people in the village. He is very motivated in learning Chinese. He knows some mechanical related Chinese terms and can also speak a lot of everyday language. The Chinese language has brought him closer to the Chinese engineer, allowing him to learn more and master more skills.
Before he got this job, his dream was to own a bicycle. After working for half a year, one day, he eagerly ran to the Chinese instructor, and showed the results of his work in recent months, and bought a motorcycle. The young people who worked on the farm like him are all equipped with motorcycles, which was unimaginable before. Not only that, Pedro also told his Chinese instructor that he planed to buy cement with next month's wages, and he will buy bricks later, and then the steel tile, steel bars, and build a new house at the end of the year. Speaking of this, Pedro's face shines with happiness, as there is probably a moderately prosperous society in his mind.
Joint Development for the Farm and Local Community
The farm provides more than 300 job opportunities during infrastructure construction period, among which most are for nearby villagers.
The Cuimba farm project in Angola covers a total area of 7,000 hectares, with a cultivated area of 2,000 hectares, and an irrigated area of 300 hectares; 12,000 tons of corn silos and corresponding drying facilities, feed processing plants, finished goods warehouses, and meat, eggs chicken breeding workshops and supporting facilities for hatching, brooding, slaughtering, cold storage, disinfection, etc.
The farm aims to explore local large-scale agricultural production and management mode by integrating agriculture, industry and trade with food crops as the mainstay, supplemented by processing and breeding; and to provide solutions to construction, planting, production and breeding for large-scale agricultural development in Angola. And to meet the basic needs of food, meat and poultry in the cities of Cuimba and Zaire, to become a role model in improving food security and promoting the development of local agricultural economy and social economy.
During the construction period of the past three years (2015-2018), CAMCE Cuimba Farm Project Team was committed to promoting local economic and social development and actively fulfilling its social responsibilities. For example, they deployed construction machinery to assist the municipal government to carry out road and bridge maintenance; actively organized local young people to learn the cultivation techniques of crops such as corn and soybeans, and carried out specific training on agricultural technologies such as fertilization, cultivation and spraying pesticides, to enhance the agricultural cultivation techniques of local resident, making contributions to eliminate hunger and poverty.
After the torrential rain disaster happened in the village near the farm, the project team quickly assessed the situation, and gathered related information, and provided building materials and living materials. They also sent consideration and care to the affected people at the earliest time.
The road conditions from the farm to the provincial capital of Zaire have seriously affected the operation of the farm in future. The Angola government was also aware of this situation. The provincial government has begun to make budget to build a new asphalt road, and will also transfer electricity to the farm in the future.
The development of agricultural projects requires more infrastructure facilities, and government investment will greatly improve the economic development of the region. The farm projects, as a successful model, influencing greatly to surrounding areas, which promoted economic and trade development, and increased residents' employment, greatly improving residents' standard of living, eliminating poverty, and improving living standards. This is the best interpretation and practice for a community of shared future between China and Central Africa.
Agricultural Cooperation: A Practice of A Community of Shared Future between China and Africa
China is the largest developing country, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. China and Africa have a good historical friendship. China's development is an opportunity for African brothers and vise versa. China and Africa have always been a community of shared future.
All African countries are committed to the development of industrialization and agricultural modernization. China is deepening comprehensive reforms and promoting economic restructuring. China and Africa have opportunities to complement each other and achieve win-win cooperation in many fields. China-Africa cooperation should play a role of "one plus one greater than two." China-Africa agricultural cooperation not only helps reduce poverty and promote economic development, but also implements the Belt and Road Initiative in the practice of a community of shared future.
Since 2003, CAMCE has successively built the Nigerian Sugar Mill Construction Project, the Ethiopian Valkate Sugar Mill Project, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Machinery Equipment Supply Project, the Mozambique Agricultural Products Processing Plant Project, the Zambia Granary Project, and the Sudan Blue Nile River Irrigation District Restoration Project. The three farm projects of Longa Rice Planting Agro-Industrial Farm, Camacupa Agro-industrial Farm and Cuimba Agro-Industrial Farm are striving to be the “Belt and Road Initiative” central enterprises, and actively explore African agricultural development models to contribute to African agricultural modernization.
Promoting China-Africa agricultural modernization cooperation will help China and Africa to complement each other in areas with comparative advantages, not only to benefit the African people, but also effectively solve the poverty problem, improving the level of regional economic development, and promoting employment and improve livelihood. At the same time, it can also transfer China's agricultural technology and agricultural equipment to Africa, achieving common development and joint creation, and practicing the concept of a community of shared future between China and Africa.