Beijing, 12 February 2015 – Dr Jean-Marcel Ribaut, IBP Director, and Dr Jianmin Wan, Director General of the Institute of Crop Sciences of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (ICSCAAS), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalising their partnership and the establishment of a IBP Regional Hub in China.
Dr Jean-Marcel Ribaut, IBP Director, and Dr Jianmin Wan, Director General of ICSCAAS, shake hands after signing the Memorandum of Understanding. In the background, from left to right: Dr Fan Zhang, Dr Shi Sun, Dr Ruilian Jing,
In the context of this partnership, ICSCAAS and the IBP will mainly collaborate on the promotion of IBP tools and services in China. As a certified IBP Regional Hub, ICSCAAS will provide both technical and professional support for the IBP’s Breeding Management System, and disseminate learning resources to foster better breeding practices with crop researchers and breeders across the region.
Dr Jean-Marcel Ribaut, IBP Director, comments: “As China is a key region of focus for the IBP, it’s uplifting to meet with ICSCAAS and find that they are just as committed and enthusiastic as we are about reaching out to an unprecedented number of breeders across the region. We both share a strong belief that integrating biotechnologies into routine breeding work will enable more efficiency, and China offers such great potential for having impact on accelerating the creation of new cultivars”.
In fact, China’s agricultural sector generates revenues that amount to 10% of the country’s GDP, a US$592.7 billion activity that employs around 40% of the national population (Source: ISAAA Biotech Facts & Trends 2014). Moreover, considering the substantially large number of breeders actively working in China – rice breeders alone can be estimated to several hundreds – and the several thousands of SMEs dedicated to seed production or plant breeding across the region, the BMS can undoubtedly have a tremendous impact on productivity for target crops.
This is very fertile ground for the IBP, where the dissemination of better breeding practices can have a concrete and widespread impact. Indeed, thanks to this new partnership with ICSCAAS, it will now be able to bring the latest tools in the hands of Chinese breeders to collect, exchange and analyse their data, and to create exposure to molecular marker technologies so that they may start using a more integrated approach in their breeding programmes. By doing so, the IBP can play a considerable role in strengthening the biotechnology sector, designated by the Chinese government as a strategic emerging industry.
Hence, key components of the IBP for data capture and field management will soon be available in Chinese, to facilitate the adoption of the software suite by a broader audience. Together with ICSCAAS, it also plans to develop and implement an international partnership around modern breeding, with potential international training programmes envisaged for crop researchers and breeders from Asian and African countries.
“Breeders in China are eager for modern electronic tools to facilitate their routine activities. We are looking forward to working with the IBP central team to help Chinese breeders utilise IBP tools and services, and thus increase their breeding efficiency”, says Dr Hui Hui Li, IBP Regional Representative.
A team of seven (7) ICSCAAS researchers and breeders has been conformed to assist breeders in China with the deployment of IBP tools and services. They are specialised in maize, wheat, rice and soya bean. Visit the IBP regional map to contact them directly.
Ms Valérie Boire, Communications Officer
Integrated Breeding Platform
Dr Hui Hui Li, IBP Regional Representative
Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences