Agricultural Development in China and Africa: A Comparative Analysis (Hardback) book cover

Agricultural Development in China and Africa

A Comparative Analysis

By Li Xiaoyun, Qi Gubo, Tang Lixia, Zhao Lixia, Jin Leshan, Guo Zhanfeng, Wu Jin

© 2011 – Routledge

316 pages

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Many African countries are increasingly interested in learning from China's experiences in achieving effective agricultural development. The Chinese government and academic community are also keen to share experiences and lessons with Africa. China made agriculture one of its development assistance priorities at the Third FOCAC Summit in Beijing in 2006.

This systematic comparative study of agricultural development in China and Africa provides a unique basis for African countries and international organizations seeking to understand agricultural development in China, and for China to understand agricultural development on the African continent. The book highlights experiences and lessons from China and, in particular, analyzes why Africa has not yet been able to emulate China's agricultural development trajectory. It compares the similarities and discrepancies in conditions, processes, and outcomes between China and Africa from the perspectives of investment, science and technology, policies and international development aid. Based on this it explores which experiences and lessons from China's agriculture development can be shared with African countries in order to contribute to the sustainable improvement and transformation of African agriculture. It does not claim that China has all of the answers, but while recognizing the diversity within both China and Africa, concludes that much can be gained from such a comparison.


"This book is an inspirational source of lessons from China’s agriculture for African policy makers. It provides a healthy balance between analytical rigour and policy relevance. It is an antidote for those skeptical about the relevance of China’s economic history for contemporary Africa."Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA, and author of "The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa"

"This is a book which can open minds and inspire action. With sustained high level policy attention, applied science and technology and effective support systems on the ground, China's small farmers feed the world's largest population. With those same factors African small farmers could supply African consumers – the world's fastest developing food market – and in doing so, help integrate the rural and urban economies of Africa in a new economic dynamic spreading across the continent."Richard Carey, Former OECD Director for Development Co-operation and Founding co-Chair of the China-OECD Development Assistance Committee Study Group

"This book reveals many valuable lessons for Africa from China’s success in feeding itself with one quarter of the land area per person that is available in Africa. It also recognises Africa’s agricultural advances and huge potential and sets the stage for continuing mutually beneficial exchanges of knowledge and experience within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)."Monty Jones, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research for Africa (FARA), and Chair of Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)

"This book examines development from a Chinese perspective and aims to aid the process in Africa." – Experimental Agriculture

Table of Contents

1. Agricultural Development in China and Africa: An Overview 2. Agricultural Development in China and Africa in Historical Perspective 3. Comparison of Strategies and Policies for the Development of Agriculture in China and Africa 4. Comparison of Agricultural Production Conditions in China and Africa 5. Comparison of Agricultural Production Inputs in China and Africa 6. Comparison of Agricultural Technology Development in China and Africa 7. Comparison of Agricultural Production at the Household Level in China and Africa 8. Learning and External Support for Agricultural Development in China and Africa

About the Authors

Li Xiaoyun is the Dean of the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University, and the Vice President of China Rural Sociology Association. He is also Executive member of the China Rural Economics Association, a scientific advisor to the State Council leading Group for Poverty Reduction and Development and member of the Advisory Group for the UK ESRC and DFID joint program in China.

Qi Gubo is a professor and rural development researcher at the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University. She is also the coordinator of the Farmer-Centered Research Network in China, an informal academic group focusing on participatory technology and management research.

Tang Lixia is a lecturer at the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University, and has been involved in numerous development related projects funded by international organizations. Her main fields of specialization are poverty reduction and rural development, and natural resource management.

Zhao Lixia is a PhD candidate majoring in Rural Development and Management, having received her Master degree in Sociology from the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University in 2006. She worked in the Centre of Sustainable Forest Development of Chinese Academy of Forestry as research assistant for 2 years.

Jin Leshan is Professor of Economics with the College of Humanities and Development, China Agricultural University, and also works as researcher and consultant for many development projects. His main specializations are environmental and development economics, water use in agriculture and rural development, and socio-economic and livelihood analysis of natural resources management.

Guo Zhanfeng is a PhD candidate majoring in Rural Development and Management, having received his Master degree in Rural Development from the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University in 2006. He worked for Actionaid International China as project coordinator for 2 years.

Wu Jin is Associate Professor at the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University. Her main fields of research are agricultural development in Africa and international development Aid. She has conducted field work in Nigeria and Tanzania.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Agribusiness