The People's Republic of China has recently been helping Zanzibar to establish a state rice farm at Upenja, in the north of Zanzibar island.
GV Chinese tractor over ground newly planted with rice
GV PAN farm with rice growing in fore-ground
SV & CU man sprays fertilizer with Chinese machine (3 shots)
SV Chinese combine harvester (4 shots)
GV PAN farm with other crops growing (lime trees among them)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The People's Republic of China has recently been helping Zanzibar to establish a state rice farm at Upenja, in the north of Zanzibar island.
Zanzibar is traditionally a producer of cloves, but the Government wishes to establish rice as a main staple crop, for home consumption and for export.
At the Upenja state rice farm, some 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of palm trees have been cleared, and a fast-maturing variety of rice has been planted.
Chinese machinery is being used in cultivating the rice, everything from one-man crop-sprayers to giant combine harvesters. It is hoped that there will eventually be two rice crops a year-enough to feed the 200,000 inhabitants of Zanzibar.
The Chinese are of course experts second-to-none in the cultivation of rice, but they are reluctant to be photographed as they advice at Upenji.
The Zanzibar Minister of Agriculture Mr. Rashid Abdullah recently said that Zanzibar must diversify its agriculture, and become less dependent on cloves.
The rice growing is one of a number of agricultural schemes aimed at making the country self-sufficient in food, and able to grow a wide range of cash crops for export.
Among other crops being developed are wheat and limes. The Government is also importing European breeds of cattle, and training farmers to look after them.