China is introducing new agricultural techniques in São Tomé and Príncipe, in a project to increase output and fight poverty in rural areas.
With more than 400 inhabitants, the Caldeiras farm was chosen by a technical team from China to be the pilot area in for the project and new cultivation techniques were introduced to increase maize production.
“We are building a pilot project that should serve as a teaching for other communities”, said the Chinese Ambassador to São Tomé and Príncipe, Xu Yingzhen (pictured above), during a visit.
Caldeiras and surroundings are traditionally producers of large amounts of cereals on the island of São Tomé, especially corn. The technical team from China has already installed drip irrigation systems in the local school garden.
Greenhouses for the production of vegetables throughout the year are other innovations introduced in agricultural activity.
Farmers in Caldeiras are trained in agricultural management and in pest control techniques. Technicians from China are teaching domestic farmers to use biological methods to eliminate insects and pests.
The Chinese team also installed 7 energy-saving stoves in Caldeiras, for the elementary school and kindergarten canteens.
“The stoves allow the reduction of the use of firewood in the order of 50%, thus contributing to sustainable development and the fight against climate change”, declared Xu Yingzhen, quoted by the local press.
Poultry farming is another part of the project, aiming to increase the production of meat and eggs in the community. China’s technical team has already built 10 aviaries that are managed by community members
In addition to food production, China supports the education sector in Caldeiras. Xu Yingzhen, highlighted education as the lever for the progress of any society.
“That’s why we offer toys for children, as well as mobile phones and tablets…as a prize for the best students”, pointed out the Chinese ambassador.
The pilot project has already brought together farmers in a cooperative, to improve local coordination.