Barbados And China Ink Upland Rice Deal.

Photo:Pixabay. An upland rice plantation in China.
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Barbados and China signed three memorandums of understanding yesterday, setting the stage for a deal  would allow for two tractors, as well as technical expertise to grow rice, and the creation of systems for advance hydroponics management.

These agreements were signed by Barbados Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Security, Indar Weir; China’s Governor of Hunan Provincial People’s Government, Mao Weiming; Deputy Director-General, Hunan Provincial Department of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, Liu Qihua, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Graeme Hall, Christ Church.

Although rice is usually grown in seasonally flooded lowlands called paddy fields, with advanced water management it can also be grown on higher land using special techniques.

Upland rice (also called dry rice) is a variety of rain-fed rice that can be grown on dry soil. Researchers produced cultivars adapted to poor soils with improved pest resistance and drought tolerance.

The agreements are between the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC), and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co., Ltd.

Minister Weir thanked the Chinese Government for its assistance in getting the deal done, noting that the agreements were important to the achievement of Government’s goals.

“We have set as our objective as a nation to reach full [food] security based on our SDG goals for 2030. The People’s Republic of China, through your ambassador, has been a very good partner, and has given us more than enough to make sure we can bring along our people in agriculture. To this end, we are very pleased with the Upland Rice Project that has proven to be a success and we are happy as we look forward to working on expanding that project to the Pine Basin,” Mr. Weir said.

China established the initial Upland Rice Project. It provided the technical support for the project, and the rice is cultivated on 78 square metres of land at BADMC’s location in Christ Church. So far, a test project has yielded 128 lbs of rice.

Governor of Hunan Provincial People’s Government, Mao Weiming, stated: “We are very happy to see the fruitful outcome between the cooperation of Barbados and the Agricultural Department of Hunan, as well as affiliated companies and research institutes in the upland rice planting under the greenhouse construction project.”

Hunan is one of the top rice producers in the central part China, and has developed an advance industry in agriculture, art and education.

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