24th Expert Group Meeting on Sino-German Agricultural Research Collaboration
by Juan Marquardt
Between February 26 and March 1, 2019 the 24th expert meeting on Sino-German Agricultural Research Collaboration was held in Hangzhou. The collaboration between the science and research divisions of the agricultural ministries of the two countries was established in 1978 and since 1981 regular bi-annual meetings have been held. The successful collaboration resulted so far in the financial support of 550 bilateral projects in agricultural sciences (this included funding of whole projects, workshops and conferences as well as travel grants). This year’s delegation on German side included Dr. Hartmut Stalb, Director for Research, Operational Coordination and Information Technology at the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Dr. Ursula Monnerjahn-Karbach, Deputy Head of Division for Research and Innovation (BMEL), Mr. Siegfried Harrer, Head of Division International Cooperation and Global Food Security at the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Mr. Henning Knipschild, Division International Cooperation and Global Food Security (BLE), Dr. Eva Sternfeld (DCZ), Sven Portius (Economic Section, German embassy). The Chinese delegation included Mr. Li Bo (Deputy Director General, Department of Science, Technology and Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, MARA), Mr. Chen Lijun (Department of International Cooperation, MARA), Dr. Zhang Zhenhua (Department of Science, Technology and Education, MARA), Dr. Zhang Huijie (Deputy DG, Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences CAAS), Dr. Chen Tianjin (International Cooperation, CAAS), Tang Zhishao (DCZ and Foreign Economic Cooperation Center, FECC), and Dr. Zhang Xian (DCZ, FECC).
Meeting at China National Rice Research Institute, CNRRI (photo: Zhang Xian)
In addition to the expert meeting which was held in the morning of February 28 at the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (ZAAS), the event also included excursions and visits to research institutes and laboratories (China National Rice Research Institute CNRRI, ZAAS and Tea Research Institute of CAAS).
Laboratory at ZAAS, Institute for Quality Standards for Agricultural Products (photo: Sternfeld)
The excursions were organized by CNRRI, including visits to projects for circular bio-economy in Hangzhou’s Nanxun district, such as an ecological rice-crayfish-crab farm, an ecological fish-sheep farm and a digitalized aquaculture farm. Furthermore, a visit to a model project for rural vitalization was organized.
Rice-crayfish farm, Nanxun county, Hangzhou. Crayfish are kept in the rice fields as natural predators for pests and producers of natural fertilizer. In this way, the application of agrochemicals can be minimized. (photo: Sternfeld)
Dr. U. Monnerjahn (BMEL), sheep-fish farm in Naxun county (photos: Sternfeld)
In Lu village in Anji county, a collective of 18 family owned farms linked up with a tourism company as investor to develop the village as a destination for agri-tourism. The project which is also sponsored by the Chinese government also functions as a training base of the Communist Party for modern agriculture and rural vitalization.