Two UK research institutes have announced a Centre-Centre research collaboration on food security and agriculture with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

The memorandum of agreement involve the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, part of NERC, Scotland’s James Hutton Institute, and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the leading agricultural research institute in China with over 7000 staff.

Mark Bailey, Li Jiayang and Bob Ferrier signing Memorandum of AgreementThe signing ceremony took place at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology headquarters in Wallingford, UK.

The three organisations will co-operate on research in a number of areas, including:

  • Improving the productivity and water use efficiency of new crop varieties 
  • Improving soil fertility, environmental resilience and nutrient flows for crop productivity
  • Optimizing fertilizer management to reduce environmental impacts and GHG emissions from the farmed environment (crop and animal husbandry)
  • Control of pests, diseases and weeds
  • Sustainable production systems
  • Remediation/restoration of polluted environments
  • Climate impacts and adaptation for farming systems

The memorandum of agreement will facilitate bilateral exchange of research scientists, the development of collaborative research programmes, and the appointment of joint studentships.

Professor Li Jiayang, Vice Minister of Agriculture and President of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to sign this memorandum of agreement with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the James Hutton Institute. Food security and agricultural standards are big issues in China. International co-operation is an essential part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences mission, and this agreement is an important addition to our international network. We look forward to active collaboration, especially through the exchange of scientists and joint funding activity.”

Professor Mark Bailey, Director of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said, “Today we’ve agreed that we should work together to address issues around agriculture and the environment. China’s increasingly urbanized and wealthy population is driving a growing and changing demand for food, which might not be met without significant increase in agricultural productivity and sustainable use of natural resources. This new partnership will bring a holistic approach to both science and policy to ensure future food security while embracing the ambition of achieving environmental sustainability in China.”

Professor Bob Ferrier, Director of Research Impact at the James Hutton Institute said, “I am really delighted that today we formally recognise our on-going scientific collaboration and technology exchange between our countries. We are honoured that Dr Li, the Vice Minister for Agriculture and the President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is here with us. Today’s launch reinforces our ongoing commitment to strengthen collaboration and deliver tangible solutions to food security and our shared agri-environment challenges.”

Additional information

Staff page of Professor Mark Bailey, Director, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

James Hutton Institute

Staff from Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, James Hutton Institute and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences


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