(Yicai Global) June 6 -- Chinese equipment manufacturers such as Jiangsu Muyang Group are finding new business opportunities as they help African countries reduce food waste and enhance food safety as southern regions of the continent suffer the worst drought in 30 years.
"The current food safety situation in Africa is characterized by the coexistence of food waste and food shortages," said Mr. Li Xiangdong, general manager of Jiangsu Muyang in Central and Eastern Africa.
Mr. Li attributes food wastage in Africa to two main factors: natural conditions such as storms during the harvest season, and vermin during transport and storage. "In Africa, 15 to 30 percent of food goes to waste during storage," he said. "It's very high."
A severe lack of rainfall led to a significant fall in grain yields in southern Africa last year. About 32 million people in the region face a food crisis, according to a May 12 report from the United Nations World Food Programme. Many states receive assistance from the Chinese government to ease food shortages and promote China-Africa agricultural cooperation. Farming is one of the 10 priorities for cooperation between China and Africa in the next three years, President Xi Jinping has said.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has forecast that world grain output needs to jump 60 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 to ensure enough food for the world.
Mr. Li believes that Africa has reached a critical point. It has enormous development potential and opportunities, and there is plenty of room for improvement especially in terms of food production and security. As a major grain storage and processing equipment supplier, Muyang is well placed to make significant contributions to ensuring food security in the continent.
Cooperating with selected qualified Chinese agricultural production and processing enterprises to support the development of farming in Africa is one of the top five priorities for the China-Africa Development Fund.