Malagasy official thanks China for supporting African countries in agricultural development

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Secretary General of the Malagasy Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Fanja Raharinomena, removes rice seeds during a demonstration session on the huller in Mahitsy, a town northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar, on May 6, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

The Secretary General of the Malagasy Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Fanja Raharinomena, thanked China for its commitment to support African countries in the development of their agricultural sector.

Raharinomena described China as “a pioneer in hybrid rice research in the world” and thanked “the Chinese government for its commitment to support African countries and particularly Madagascar, in the development of agriculture”.

During a visit on Friday to the Chinese government-funded hybrid rice variety demonstration fields in Mahitsy, a town northwest of the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo, she said the development of the rice sector is a ” pillar of food self-sufficiency in Madagascar”. ”

“Hybrid rice yields up to 11 tons per hectare, while conventional rice yields only five tons per hectare, with the use of improved practices and techniques under the right conditions,” Raharinomena told Xinhua. .

“It can contribute to a rapid increase in the level of rice production,” she said.

Raharinomena admitted that technical and financial challenges hamper large-scale production of hybrid rice in Madagascar.

Madagascar enjoys a humid tropical climate, with abundant sunshine and water resources – the right conditions for growing rice, but inadequate infrastructure, outdated farming technologies and lack of investment have prevented the country from producing enough of rice to meet local demand, having to import hundreds of thousands of tonnes every year.

In May 2019, China’s National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center opened an office in Madagascar, and one of its main tasks was to breed various hybrid rice varieties based on Madagascar’s diverse ecological environment. island state and improve food security on the African continent.

In partnership with the Chinese national center, the Indian Ocean Trading Company (STOI) has been popularizing hybrid rice in Madagascar since 2017 by giving inputs to farmers.

Tovonanahary Rabetsitonta, CEO of STOI, told Xinhua that Malagasy farmers earn a five times higher profit margin by growing hybrid rice than by growing conventional varieties, although “not all hybrid rice seed varieties are suitable for Madagascar”.

Through cooperation with the Chinese center, he said, the most suitable hybrid rice varieties have been identified for different regions of the country, yielding 10 to 12 tons per hectare, Rabetsitonta said.

Photo taken on May 6, 2022 shows the demonstration fields of hybrid rice varieties in Mahitsy, a town northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on May 6, 2022 shows the demonstration fields of hybrid rice varieties in Mahitsy, a town northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: Xinhua


Photo taken on May 6, 2022 shows the demonstration fields of hybrid rice varieties in Mahitsy, a town northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on May 6, 2022 shows the demonstration fields of hybrid rice varieties in Mahitsy, a town northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: Xinhua

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