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Steering Committee Meeting at Tegernsee in Bavaria, Germany
by Johannes Kluge
On 29 May 2019, the annual Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ) took place to review the progress of the DCZ in the past year and to discuss and approve the work plan for the coming project year. On the German side, the PSC meeting was attended by representatives of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the GFA Consulting Group, the German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA) as well as the implementing consortium of the DCZ, IAK Agrar Consulting GmbH and the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO). The Chinese side was represented by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Chinese Embassy in Germany, the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC, the implementing partner of DCZ ), the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the National Animal Husbandry Service (NAHS), the Rural Energy and Environment Agency (REEA).
On behalf of the DCZ, the managing directors Mr. Tang Zhishao and Dr. Jürgen Ritter presented the outputs of last year and the new work plan of the DCZ. Both the review report and the work plan were approved by the PSC.
The PSC meeting was embedded in a study visit (27-30 May) which was dedicated to the subject of rural development and rural vitalization. After the Chinese delegation’s arrival in Munich the group paid their first visit to the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry where they received a warm welcome by Mr. Konrad Schmid, the Head of the Agricultural Policy and International Cooperation Department, and got a presentation on the rural development experiences in Bavaria.
This was followed by a short but valuable visit at BayWa headquarters in Munich. Mr. Jörg Migende acquainted with the history of BayWa and its development from a local or regional cooperative to a globally acting joint stock company. Mr. Josef Thoma further elaborated on the topic “Digital farming and the use of satellite data in agriculture” as well as “VariableRain”, a digital irrigation system developed by BayWa.
Various site visits addressing the topic of rural development and cooperatives in Bavaria had been organised in the region of Tegernsee where also the PSC meeting should take place on 29 May. At the “Naturkäserei TegernseerLand e.G.” the Chinese delegates could visit a dairy cooperative that produces high-quality dairy products mainly for a local market (36 % are directly sold to consumers) and relies mainly on local farmers. Its concept is modern and is heading towards a “consumer-oriented agriculture”.
At another event, the group received an introduction to the EU’s LEADER programme in Bavaria by the coordinator Mr. Sebastian Wittmoser and the Manager of the Local Working Group (LAG) Ms. Stephanie Stiller as well as the Operations and Sales Manager Thomas Furtner. “LEADER” is a French acronym for "Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale", meaning 'Links between the rural economy and development actions' and follows the concept of Community-Led Local Development (CLLD). This introduction was given at the “Gräfliche Brauerei Arco Valley” which has benefitted from this programme.
The last destination during the study visit was SMG, a Business Promotion Agency of the district Schliersee. Alexander Schmid, Deputy Managing Director of the Business Association, gave an overview of the tasks and the structure of the entrepreneur association and their contribution to the regional development.
Popular Bavarian cuisine should of course not be missing during this study visit. Among other places, this was found at the restaurant MachtSINN in Gmund which uses almost exclusively regional products from a radius of about 80 km – and in this way contributes to the rural development in the region.