5 June 2017 – A special ceremony, held in Beijing on 26 May marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), one of the largest national agricultural research institutions in the world. CABI was invited to join the celebrations among some 25 international organisations and national agricultural institutions from outside China. The ceremony was followed on 27 May by a summit on Agricultural Science and Technology Development.

At the ceremony Mr Han Changfu, Chinese Minister of Agriculture, read out a congratulatory letter from China’s President Xi Jinping, and, in his own keynote highlighted the important roles CAAS is currently playing in the fulfilment of China’s goals on agricultural modernisation and innovation, while trying to ensure equitable and sustainable use of China’s natural resources to protect the environment and adapt to climate change.

CAAS President, Professor Tang Huajun also reported that over the past six decades CAAS has achieved outstanding progress in agricultural innovation and research, contributing to food and nutritional security in China and beyond.

CABI’s partnership with CAAS traces back to 1981. This partnership eventually led to China joining CABI as a member country in 1995. In 2002, CABI opened its Beijing office, which has since been upgraded to become its East Asia Centre. In 2008, the Joint Laboratory on Biosafety was established between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and CABI at the CAAS Institute of Plant Protection.

After eight years of close collaboration, the Joint Laboratory has achieved significant progress in addressing both Chinese and global needs for food security and sustainable agricultural development.

Dr. Feng Zhang, Regional Director for East Asia, CABI, elaborates on the CABI CAAS partnership, saying, “Built on the success of the Joint Laboratory between Chinese MoA and CABI, CAAS and CABI have worked closely on the planning and development of the Belt & Road (B&R) Plant Protection International Consortium, and B&R Plant Protection Co-operation Plan to promote best pest management practices in plant protection. This will contribute to global agricultural sustainable development, facilitation of trade, food security, food safety, and poverty alleviation. We will continue our bridging role in progress the realisation of this goal.”

Dr. Qiaoqiao Zhang, Director of Memberships, CABI, attended the ceremony and has worked closely with CAAS for over 25 years, she said, “I was particularly honoured to attend this special celebration having witnessed great transformations and significant achievements over the past decades through our collaborative programmes and projects. I would like to offer CABI’s sincere congratulations to CAAS on its 60th Birthday. There is no doubt that our continuing partnership will make valuable contributions to China’s strategic plan to step up agricultural modernisation.”

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