Author: Adriana Erthal Abdenur.
In the Boane district of Mozambique, about halfway between Maputo and the border with Swaziland, the National Agrarian Research Institute in Umbeluzi hosts two experiments in development cooperation provided by fellow developing countries. Behind a gated wall, the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center—built in record time by China—experiments with different techniques of vegetable cultivation. Barely 500 meters away, technicians from the Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research, known as EMBRAPA, work with Mozambican counterparts from a food security program, installing an irrigation system along an open field. Taken together, the two projects are emblematic of an emerging tension within Brazil's and China's presence in Africa: does development cooperation in Boane represent competition or complementarity between these providers of development cooperation? In addition, does their proximity suggest a possibility of collaboration between these two providers?