27 July 2022, China: The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) signed a letter of intent for the establishment of Sanya International Rice Resource and Breeding Center on July 14 in a hybrid event.
CAAS Vice President Sun Tan and IRRI Regional Representative for Asia Nafees Meah signed the agreement on behalf of the two organizations.
Wu Kongming, the President of CAAS, said that the establishment of the Center would be conducive to mutual cooperation of the CAAS and IRRI in the exploration and utilization of germplasm resources, accurate identification of phenotypes and genotypes for more germplasm resources. It would also contribute to the achievement of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and further enhancing the innovative vitality of the international seed industry.
“IRRI and China, through the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, have had a long and fruitful history of cooperation.. Since then, IRRI has been a steadfast supporter and partner of China’s remarkable journey to become the world’s largest producer of rice, and one of the key global players in agricultural innovation and technology,” said Nafees Meah, IRRI Regional Representative for Asia.
Over the years, almost 35,000 rice germplasm resources from IRRI have been introduced into the country, and around 54% of the current Chinese rice varieties contain IRRI genealogy. China is also a pioneer and world leader in hybrid rice development, and about 99% of China’s three-line hybrids utilize restorer genes from IRRI.
“The signing of this Letter of Intent will further strengthen our cooperation and, hopefully, take it to a new level. This is an important moment not just for our two organizations, but for rice-based agri-food systems in China, Asia, and in Africa,” added Meah.
Meanwhile, Liu Pingzhi, Deputy Governor of Hainan Province briefly talked about Nanfan Technology City, China’s Silicon Valley for the seed industry, where science and technology are the core of research, development and innovation. He said that Hainan Province had made great strides to strengthen the construction of Nanfan Silicon Valley, gathering resources and efforts to promote seed industry innovation.
By strengthening exchanges and cooperation with IRRI, we would further promote the great-leap-forward development of Hainan’s modern biological breeding system and help Hainan to build an international breeding research and achievement transformation center. Meanwhile, the center should also leverage the geographical advantages of Hainan to serve food production in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions of the world; so as to meet global challenges related to climate change, food security and sustainable development, he added.
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