The new International Potato Center-China Center for Asia Pacific (CCCAP) facilities were formalized in a handover ceremony in Yanqing, Beijing on July 11th, 2017. CIP and the Chinese government have a long history of cooperation that is fast approaching four decades. CCCAP is the first officially recognized international research institution in China.
What started in 1978 as a gift of hardy CIP-24, germplasm well-suited to the needs of Chinese rural farmers, has now grown into a fully-integrated world-class agricultural research center focused on improving roots and tuber production in China and across East Asia and the Pacific.
“This handover is a historic moment in a long and fruitful history between CIP and the government of China,” says Dr. Barbara Wells, CIP Director General. “This center will play a pivotal role in helping to alleviate poverty and hunger at a critical time in our history when the dual pressures of climate change and population growth demand innovative solutions.”
During the ceremony, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Qu Dongyu, announced the Chinese government’s generous donation of state-of-the art laboratory equipment valued at almost $3 million. In a little under of a quarter of a century, the average potato yields in China rose 25%. By the year 2013, China imported more than 8,000 roots and tuber accessions from Peru, which were used to develop 100 new varieties with CIP parentage. The Chinese government’s continued investment in facilities and infrastructure will play a critical role in China’s agriculture “ongoing global strategy.”
With a population of more than 1.3 billion, the potato is uniquely poised to help China build a more food secure future. Potato requires significantly less water than wheat, rice, and maize, and produces higher caloric value per acre. CCCAP will be instrumental in developing new varieties of root and tuber crops that will help rural farmers maximize yields in the face of severe climatic conditions.
In his speech, Vice Minister, Qu Dongyu, shared a brief overview of the 40-year history of scientific cooperation between China and CIP. He expressed his optimism that the establishment of CCCAP and the new Yanqing Research Facility will continue to enable CIP to build on the long-standing cooperation and make new contributions to China’s agricultural development and global root-and-tuber-crop research for development.
The ceremony was co-organized by Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Beijing Municipal Government, Yanqing District Government and the International Potato Center (CIP). In addition to the Vice Minister, Dr. Tang Huajun, President the of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Vice Secretary Zhao Genwu of Beijing Municipal Government, and the Governor Li Zhijun of Yanqing District, also participated in the ceremony.
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