09 August 2011
Senior officers from the Department of the Environment will deliver 2 speeches at a major international agricultural seminar in Jilin Province, China, on Thursday (11 August).
The speeches, which will focus on opportunities for knowledge sharing between China and Jersey, and the trend of development in modern agriculture, will be delivered to an audience of around 100 agricultural experts from China, Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands.
The invitation for a delegation of States officials to attend the third Sino-European Agricultural Seminar came as a result of talks held in China in June between Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, Assistant Chief Minister, UK and International Relations, Senator Freddie Cohen, and Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Mr Tang Huajun.
In advance of the seminar, which runs from Wednesday (10 August) to Friday (12 August), the delegation met with senior officials at CAAS on Monday (8 August). During the meeting, the Academy’s Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation, Gong Xifeng, and Deputy Division Chief, Department of International Cooperation, Jin Ke, proposed a future seminar to explore the possibilities of cooperation between Jersey and CAAS, China’s national agricultural research organisation.
Progress was also made on a proposal, which was first raised during the meeting with Senators Le Sueur and Cohen in June, for CAAS to send a team of experts to Jersey in 2012 to look in more detail at dairy farming and potato growing. States officials also met Professor and Deputy Director General for the Institute of Crop Sciences, Wang Shumin, to discuss how crop research might be applied to Jersey.
Senator Cohen said: "This is one of China’s most important agricultural conferences and it is most significant that Jersey's agricultural officers have been invited to speak at such a prestigious conference. The Chinese Agriculture and Sciences Department are very aware of the part the Jersey cow can play in the rapid expansion of their dairy industry and this is a huge potential market for the export of embryos and bull semen. This is the start of cooperation with China on agricultural projects."
The seminar, which is organised by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), is expected to yield further opportunities for working together with China in agriculture and horticulture.