China’s hybrid millet possible solution to Africa’s food shortages | Xinhua

13 Apr

Map of African countries by population density

Map of African countries by population density (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) — A new variety of China-bred hybrid millet has yielded bumper harvests on trial plantation in some African countries, with its output at least doubling that of local millet varieties.

The millet variety, dubbed ZHM, is the result of 30 years of research led by Chinese scientist Zhao Zhihai, who is lauded the “father of hybrid millet” in China.

Millet is the staple food for many African countries, and experts said that if the Chinese variety of millet is popularized on the continent, it could provide a credible solution to food shortages that have long been haunting African countries.

On the sidelines of China’s ongoing parliamentary session, Zhao told Xinhua that his team would travel to several agricultural countries in Africa to promote the hybrid millet.

Zhao, a deputy of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, is a research fellow at an agricultural science institute located in Zhangjiakou city in north China’s Hebei Province.

In 2007, his “Zhang Hybrid Millet” (ZHM) recorded an output of 810 kilograms per mu.

The next year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization introduced a pilot plantation of the ZHM to ten African countries including Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Senegal.

“Millet is staple food in many African countries. The success of the ZHM’s pilot plantation promises good prospects for its mass production in Africa,” said Zhang Zhongjun, assistant to the FAO representative to China.

For full article read: China’s hybrid millet possible solution to Africa’s food shortages.

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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in General


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