Ugandan Agriculture Minister Tress Bucyanayandi said he has no problem with China growing food in Africa to tackle its own increasing food deficit, according to a report in ChinaDaily.
So far in Uganda, most of China’s involvement has come in the form of aid and assistance rather than any attempt to source food.
A recent study by Standard Chartered predicted that China will have to import 100 million tons of food a year within 20 to 30 years to avoid shortages.
Since the end of 2012 more than 30 Chinese agricultural experts and technicians have been working in Uganda in areas including agribusiness, horticulture and grain production, the report said.
One of the biggest Chinese agricultural projects in the country is a $5 million fish-farming demonstration center on the outskirts of Kampala. It is run by the Huaqiao Fenghuang Group.
There is surplus land in Uganda and the Chinese are welcome to farm it, Bucyanayandi said, “particularly in the northern parts of Uganda – much of it is idle.
“Although the land belongs to people, they (Chinese) can enter into partnerships with the owners to develop it. There is no issue about them exporting the food back to China or the profit. They can take it.”
Bucyanayandi said in an interview in Entebbe he would like to see a Chinese bank enter Uganda and offer loans to local farmers.
The Ugandan government has been under political pressure to provide such a bank to offer loans, the report said.