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Chavez hails agricultural cooperation with China
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday hailed the agricultural cooperation with China aiming at boosting cereal production in the country.

At present, two Chinese delegations are in the country to help diversify its agriculture in Barinas, a plain area in southeastern Venezuela.

Venezuela's agriculture has long been neglected as the nation was focusing on oil production in the past.

During his regular Sunday radio and television broadcast program, Chavez thanked the Chinese agricultural experts and Chinese Ambassador to Caracas Zhang Tuo.

Under a Sino-Venezuela agreement, some 8.5 million dollars have been invested to rehabilitate 23 kilometers of irrigation canals from Barinas' Santo Domingo River.

The scheme allows 1,400 hectares to be planted with rice and maize, according to Americo Mata, the president of the National Rural Development Institute.

China and Venezuela are also working on vegetable growing in the central cities of Valencia and Maracay, areas usually used for sugar production in the past. A group of Chinese agriculturalists are studying the viability of the southern states of Apure and Amazonas for cotton planting.

Venezuela and China agreed early this year to set up a fund worth 12 billion dollars to finance joint development projects including agriculture.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2009)

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