It’s counterintuitive to a lot of people, but Chinese and African agriculture has a lot more in common with one another than many first expect. For the most part, both are dominated by small family farms that have to battle mightily with the twin effects of climate change and industrialization.

On the climate change front, drought haunts many parts of both China and Africa as deserts expand and rainfall becomes increasingly intermittent in some areas. Similarly, both China and Africa do not produce enough food to feed themselves and therefore depend on imported food to survive, so the stakes for agriculture in both regions are extremely high.

And, in terms of industrialization, in Africa, just as it is in China, the lure of jobs in the cities pulls more and more young people off the land in search of a better life.

Given that China has gone through many of the same challenges that African farmers encounter today, there’s a huge opportunity for the Chinese to leverage that experience in its aid and development programs.

To get some perspective on Chinese agricultural engagement in Africa, Eric & Cobus are joined by Xingqing Lu, an Associate Program Manager from the independent non-profit organization Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

Originally published