Group photo of Vanuatu delegation with DPM Joe Natuman (front row:3rd from left) and Professor

Yang Kunxiang (front row: 4th from left) and members of his teaching and admin staff.

By Jonas Cullwick

The Vanuatu delegation of 13 Members of Parliament currently in China made a brief visit to Guangdong Agricultural Industry and Business Polytechnic on its way back to Guangzhou city

from the opening ceremony of the Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo in Dongguan City Thursday.

The delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, was welcomed by Professor Yang Qunxiang — Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Committee of the College, A.P. Xiong Yan – Vice President and Ms. Xiong Jiayi, Director of the General Office and briefed on the polytechnic before being taken on a guided tour of the college.

The delegation visited the training rooms of green food processing and testing, the campus and the greenhouses of tropical fruits, the plantation base of pitaya and the livestock science centre.

Guangdong AIB Polytechnic specializes in agriculture, industry and business development, and enrolls students who only finish studies at secondary level and its current enrolments are 20,000 students from provinces all over China including Guangdong.

“It is a top college and we are really impressed with what they are doing.

“Students study to diploma level after that they can either decide to enter the job market or continue studies at universities and pursue degree level programs,” DPM Natuman comments later.

“They do a lot of research and production in food processing in which they do a lot of value-adding in agricultural crops into foods and drinks including the pinkish kumala that people in Vanuatu know, which we (DPM and delegation) tasted. The school teaches the students also how to promote and market and sell the products,” he added.

When students enter school they learn starting from the farm on to how to perform food processing into finished products they can sell and make business from the products.

“This is something we could do to teach our children because what I see is that what they teach their students is more practically-oriented than universities because they teach students things that are practical and allows them to go to work in a company or they can start their own business.

“It is important if the school can assist us and I have said to the professor who is chairman of the school if they can have some sort of relations with our Vanuatu Agriculture College, which China also helped build in Luganvillle, Santo.

“They are also interested if there can be some exchange of students for their students to come study with us and our students to go study with them.”

The Deputy Prime Minister says he hopes to return to Vanuatu and speak with the Minister of Agriculture (Matai Seremiah) and the Minister of Education (Jean-Pierre Nirua) if Vanuatu can establish some sort of relationship between the Vanuatu Agriculture College and the Guangdong AIB Polytechnic.

Guangdong AIB Polytechnic is a full time public college, which was established by Guangdong Agribusiness Group Corporation in 1977.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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