Chinese electronics and media firm StarTimes has pledged to make its strong presence in Africa to support the transformation of agriculture on the continent.
Zhang Junqi, the chief executive officer (CEO) of StarTimes Nigeria, said that the pay-tv company would do this through the use of its digital platform to support information dissemination together with the help of satellite TV devices from “Ten thousand Village Project”.
Ten thousand Village Project, as one of the “Ten Major China-Africa Cooperation Plans”, is announced by Xi Jinxing, the president of China, At the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC in 2015. As the contractor, StarTimes will complete this pan Africa project at the end of 2019 and 10,112 villages will have access to solar-powered satellite TV service.
In doing this, he said StarTimes would replicate the situation in China where agriculture had been developing very fast, with dedicated television channels of agriculture, teaching farmers how to grow food and other crops to improve their productivity.
"StarTimes will be ready to introduce this kind of content and channels to educate farmers and small households in Africa, especially in rural areas. By this, we can build the bridge between China and African agriculture," Zhang said.
Zhang was in Ghana to attend the four-day African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Accra where he was a panelist on one of the sessions on agriculture digitization.
StarTimes has established offices in 35 countries with full operations in 16 of them, where they serve more than 10 million subscribers, most of whom in rural areas.
"One of the visions of StarTimes is that we want to ensure that we help reach every African family to have access to the network to enjoy the digital revolution," he said.
The CEO expressed confidence that the efforts of StarTimes would create access to digital terrestrial content in rural areas across Africa.
"This is why StarTimes platforms and channels produce and provide content that is suitable for most of the rural communities, including farmers and African families," Zhang said.
"At StarTimes group, we are not targeting only the upper-class, but also the medium and lower class, so the contents on the platforms are also localized to suit the taste of local people."