By: Dindo Campilan and Nguyen Tra My

In further strengthening scientific cooperation, CIAT and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) is establishing a Joint Laboratory in Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture in Beijing.

The Letter of Agreement for the Joint Laboratory was signed last 27May in Cali, Colombia as part of the visit of a CAAS delegation led by Vice-President Mei Xurong. In discussions with CIAT senior management and research teams led by Dr. Maya Rajasekharan (director of program management), CAAS and CIAT agreed on expanding the scope and mechanisms of scientific cooperation.

Earlier in 2019, CAAS and CIAT launched collaborative research on: 1) legume-based cropping systems, crop residues and bio-fertilizers, 2) monitoring and early warning systems on drought risks, and 3) Phaseolus v. bean germplasm exchange and evaluation.

The Joint Laboratory will be hosted by CAAS’ Institute for Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) to serve as scientific cooperation platform in: 1) microbial biotechnology for soil health and agro-ecological sustainability, 2) remote sensing, spatial and related technologies for agro-environmental and climate-change assessment, and 3) systems-based and landscape-level approaches for integrated farming and land-use management. The Joint Lab further strengthens CAAS’ partnership with the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, as add-on physical and operational presence to the former’s existing liaison office in the Academy.

Implementation of these on-going and future opportunities will be jointly coordinated by Dr. Hao Weiping (CAAS Director of International Cooperation) and Dr. Dindo Campilan (CIAT Director for Asia).

To support the expanding collaboration with CIAT, CAAS has committed to increase China’s W3 contribution to CIAT while also joint exploring other in-country and international funding opportunities. CAAS further suggests to showcase this new era of CAAS-CIAT scientific cooperation when China hosts the Global Leaders in Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST) Forum in November.

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