BISSAU, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The presence of a Chinese technical agricultural mission in Guinea Bissau's eastern regions of Bafata and Gabu has resulted in increased rice production, the mission's coordinator Antonio Tavares said Thursday.
"The mission has helped Bafata women group to increase rice production to 400 tons per year," the coordinator noted, adding that "the Chinese mission will greatly contribute to rice production in the country because of improved agricultural techniques."
"China also supports training of national experts, especially in the area of production of quality rice seeds," Tavares said.
He revealed that due to the aid by the Chinese mission, an experimental field in Bafata for improvement of seeds was now producing 13 tons of rice.
"If all the other challenges can be overcome, then Bafata region, with the Chinese mission, will become Guinea Bissau's main source of rice," he said.
The Chinese agricultural mission, comprised of 15 experts from different fields, is the tenth to be sent to Guinea Bissau under a bilateral agreement.
Tavares said a new agreement will be signed in August 2016 between the two countries for the reinforcement of Guinea Bissau's capacity in rice production, the country's staple food.
In 2014, Guinea Bissau produced 111,000 tons of rice and imported 150,000 tons of rice.
In November last year, China's ambassador to Guinea Bissau Wang Hua said his country will help Guinea Bissau to increase rice production by providing it with agricultural materials.
He also revealed that a group of Guinea Bissau agricultural technicians would soon be sent to China for training in agricultural techniques.